Childhood is filled with milestones. From the day their children are born, parents look forward to their first smile, their first steps, and their first words. Each of these experiences comes with its emotional dynamic. The first day of school, however, brings a unique pressure all its own. Parents often experience an intense sense of urgency to give their children every educational opportunity. This urgency is magnified many times over when students have specific learning challenges. Education and learning capacity are two of the top predictors of long-term quality of life. Every parent wants to set their little one up for success, but it’s often difficult to know where to start. There are plenty of educational resources available, from books to websites to podcasts. But weeding through them is time-consuming, often leading parents to conflicting ideas that leave them more confused than ever. There is plenty of information available on how to best support a child’s learning and development. There is much less that is easily understood and applied. Even fewer accessible resources exist for the parents of children with significant learning struggles. Dr. JoQueta Handy has made it her mission to create an online community that closes those gaps. For over twenty years, Dr. Handy has worked closely alongside children and families as a pediatric healthcare practitioner, with a strong focus on children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Through her professional experiences, it became apparent to her that parents and educators need a place to access practical information on holistically supporting any child’s ability to learn. Based on that pain point, she created a web-based community: Brilliant Learning Online. Dr. Handy’s vision was to meet children and families where they are in an affordable and convenient context. She wanted to give overextended parents an accessible way to help their children overcome hurdles. In that spirit, she stays up-to-date on the latest educational and developmental research on behalf of caregivers and educators. She then brings that knowledge back to the Brilliant Learning website, where it is available in quick and accessible packages. The website features video lessons that are no longer than five minutes in length, to suit the needs of busy families. The library is broken up into sections so that parents can go directly to their topic of interest. Members also receive a weekly “snackable” via email, a 90-second video that covers a specific issue or tool. The email includes direct links to lessons and resources on that topic as well; parents who want to go deeper into the material will have immediate access. Dr. Handy’s approach, the Children’s Opportunity for Brilliance (COB) model, begins with the belief that every student is a brilliant and capable learner, regardless of any struggles they may experience. The model works holistically, utilizing a toolbox that includes optimizing the diet and balancing brain chemistry in addition to more direct learning strategies. The approach also assumes that every child comes with a unique set of strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and learning styles. Since there is no one-size-fits-all style of learning, a wide range of learning strategies are covered. The COB model heavily emphasizes the needs and struggles of parents and educators as well. The real magic of the Brilliant Learning platform is that it is not simply a place to gather information, but an avenue to connect with other adults who are also in the trenches. Part resource library and part support group, parents can come to the Brilliant Learning community and engage socially as they work through their own mindsets. They’re encouraged to reimagine what might be possible for their child with the right strategies in place. Dr. Porter recently got the opportunity to sit down with Dr. JoQueta Handy and hear more about Brilliant Learning Online in her own words. The BrainTap team is excited to share it with you today; click here to listen. Her passion for this community is clear, and the results children and parents are getting from the COB model speak for themselves. If her message speaks to a pain point for you, we encourage you to sign up for the 14-day free trial membership at http://www.brilliantlearningonline.com. For additional support in your child’s educational development, check out the BrainTap Children and Learning bundle, which is available at https://www.braintap.com/bundles. Go take a look today!