Understanding Your ADHD Child’s Learning Style
When our homework coaches first meet with new students, one of the first things they do is conduct a learning style assessment. Everyone learns differently and the learning style assessment allows our coaches to find strategies that best fit each student’s learning needs. To help your child to study, learn, and retain information, it may be useful to determine which of these learning styles best fits your child.
- Visual. Visual learners learn best through what they can see. Visual learners often have to watch a task being performed before they can perform it. They may also prefer to read information or have it presented in graphic form in order to truly understand what is being taught.
- Learning strategies for visual learners: Visual learners often benefit from the use of flashcards to study vocabulary, math, and other concepts. Sites such as quizlet.com are useful for students to create sets of flashcards they can use to study for tests. Reviewing notes can also be a useful strategy for these students. ADHD students who are visual learners may benefit from copies of teacher Powerpoint slides, reviewing pictures of events (such as for a history test), or viewing diagrams and charts.
- Auditory. Auditory learners learn best through hearing. Students who are auditory learners must hear information stated in order to learn and retain it. These students may prefer to study by having information read aloud to them rather than by reading it themselves.
- Learning strategies for auditory learners: Auditory students may benefit from recording classroom lectures so that they can replay them again later. Oftentimes, the use of a tape recorder in class is considered a reasonable accommodation for ADHD students. These students may also benefit from listening to audio versions of books rather than reading the book. These students may also learn better if they play soft music while completing homework.
- Kinesthetic/Tactile. Kinesthetic learners learn best through doing. Students who are kinesthetic learners are “hands-on”. These students need to be able to work through a problem themselves to understand it. Kinesthetic learners often cannot sit still for long periods of time and may benefit from being allowed to move around while they think or read.
- Learning strategies for kinesthetic learners: Kinesthetic learners often benefit from demonstrations and experiments when learning scientific concepts. These students may need to use LEGOs or clay to create learning devices that help them to understand a problem. A kinesthetic learner may use counting cubes or blocks when understanding a math concept. Using highlighters when reviewing information can help kinesthetic learners to focus in on important details.
Some students may only have one learning style while others have a combination of learning styles. Understanding how your child learns best may help you to find ways to assist your child in being a more effective and successful student. If you’d like to determine your child’s learning style, have them take a quiz online at http://www.educationplanner.org/students/self-assessments/learning-styles.shtml.