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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.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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