These online games help shatter misconceptions about learning and attention issues.
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Ad Council + Understood.org

What if you could see what life is like through someone else's eyes — just by playing an easy online game?

Like a word challenge! Seems simple enough.

Copying sentences? No sweat! (Right?)


OK. Maybe these games aren't so easy after all.

These games were designed by Understood.org to give people a sense of what it's like to have a learning or attention issue. Check out the video for more:

Understood.org created this series of simulations to help put parents and others in the shoes of children with learning and attention issues.

The simulation series, called Through Your Child's Eyes, is an interactive set of games designed to represent the challenges that many kids with learning and attention issues face. Learning and attention issues are brain-based difficulties in reading, writing, math, organization, focus, listening comprehension, social skills, motor skills, or a combination of these. Dyslexia and ADHD are some examples of common learning and attention issues.

After conducting extensive research with over 2,200 parents, Understood.org found that one theme kept coming up over and over again — the parents of these kids simply wanted to understand what their children were going through.

Let's face it: There are many misconceptions surrounding the topic. Some people think that learning and attention issues are an indicator of low IQ or that kids will outgrow them — not the case at all. In fact, kids with learning and attention issues can have above-average intelligence and even be gifted. If parents, teachers, and all of us can better understand the challenges these issues can create, we can better provide kids with the support they need to thrive in school and in life.

It's also crucial to understand that not all learning and attention issues are the same.

Perhaps a child has trouble recognizing certain words in a sentence. Or maybe dealing with numbers is what's giving them difficulty. Or maybe they're having a hard time paying attention in class.

Whatever the case may be, Through Your Child's Eyes addresses each scenario by separating the simulations into five different categories — reading, writing, attention, math, and organization. By experiencing each one, users get a much better sense of the specific challenges that accompany them.

More than just immersive games, Through Your Child's Eyes also offers practical solutions for parents to help their kids reach their fullest potential.

One of the most important ones is establishing a continuous dialogue with children about what they're going through. In this case, talking about everything at once might not be the best course of action. Rather, it's a process that needs to be addressed and adjusted on a regular basis, throughout a child’s journey.

Through Your Child's Eyes also has videos of children from preschool to grade 12 telling stories about their own experiences dealing with learning and attention issues. It’s a much more personal look into the challenges they face, along with the support from parents and teachers that made a difference to them — in their own words. After all, every child is unique.

That's why Understood.org gives parents a chance to customize their program in order to get more personalized resources and advice from experts and parents just like them.

It's a simple concept, but it can have a profound effect on a parent's point of view.

One loving mother definitely had her eyes opened. "I get it now, or at least I am beginning to," she told Understood.org. "My heart is a little lighter as I know that I have just found a key to unlocking my understanding and relatability to my precious children. ... I can’t wait to put into practice some of the new tools that I have just been equipped with!"

When they have a supportive network on their side, parents are able to create a more supportive environment at home and work hand-in-hand with teachers to make sure the best possible steps are being taken to nurture their children's gifts.

This only makes it easier for kids to be themselves and instills the kind of confidence that every kid should naturally have with them — every single day.

Curious to try the games for yourself? You can play all of them right here.

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Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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