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Parents

“PEN enables parents and teachers to better understand the others' perspectives and work—together—in the best interests of the child. PEN offers an unparalleled collection of meetings, lectures and seminars that are receiving national attention.”
— Rick Lavoie

Visit EdRevSF.org for information about EdRev, our annual gathering at AT&T Park, San Francisco.
EdRev 2017 will take place Saturday April 22nd!

Are You a Parent? Wondering How PEN Can Help You?

Starting out on the journey of understanding your child’s learning and/or attention differences, and finding the best ways to support them, can be overwhelming. We know! PEN was started over twelve years ago by a small group of parents in that very situation. We have distilled some essential lessons learned along the way into three steps you can begin taking now.

Step 1: Find a Community of Support

Our experience in growing PEN taught us how essential it is to connect with other families on the same journey, and overcome the sense of isolation that can often affect parents in your situation.

Suggestions:

  • Find out if there is a PEN group in your area
  • If not, consider starting one!
  • Find other groups in your area
  • Connect with other parents on the Understood forum

Step 2: Get Informed

Developing an accurate understanding of your child’s learning difference will provide you with an essential background from which to support them. Fortunately, there is more information available for parents than ever, backed up by the latest research in learning science.

Suggestions:

  • Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to “fix” everything at once - choose just one area to focus on at first
  • Accept that some aspects of how your child learns are just differences that don’t need to be fixed
  • Always focus on strengths instead of deficits - what is your child best at?
  • Get help from your new community in developing a plan that will support your child and work for your family

Step 3: Engage with your child

The most important lessons we have learned on this journey have come from putting the student’s voice at the center of the conversation about their education. It is essential to listen to the student in order to understand their experience and how best to support them.

Suggestions:

  • Allow your child to explain their challenges, and to suggest solutions that they think wouls help them
  • As appropriate to their age, share what you are learning in Step 2 and use this to provoke dialogue

And remember - you are not alone on this journey!