Supporting children with learning challenges

Supporting children with learning challenges

This story aired on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 on Hawaii News Now. 

Supporting children with learning challenges

By Annalisa Burgos

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - October happens to be Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month.

An estimated 1 in 5 American children experience learning challenges, and demand is high for affordable programs to serve them, especially in Hawaii.

Rachael Cook’s son Kawika was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 5 years old and in public school. She says staff were not trained or equipped to help her son, so she enrolled him at Assets School where they met other families who struggled with the same challenges.

“Low self esteem, you think you’re dumb. And you’re not you just learn differently,” Cook said. “It’s a whole new way of looking at things, which, for most of us, it’s just what it is. But for children who have you know, challenges, you know, dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADD, ADHD, you know, even autism.”

“Just keep encouraging your child, it’s, you know, it’s it’s going to be difficult, it’ll be painful,” she added.

Cook says Kawika is now 16 and thriving -- he’s a junior and plays basketball and club volleyball.

Children struggling in a traditional school setting can request a comprehensive learning assessment at Assets School’s new Transforming Lives Center. Learn more at

Assets High School at 913 Alewa Drive, Honolulu, is holding a dyslexia information event in its Damon Hall on Thursday, Oct. 20 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to Kelli Azuma at

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.


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