Everyone has a unique learning style. However, the manner in which you learn may not necessarily be the most effective way for your child to learn. If they are not studying in a way that makes sense to their own brain, learning becomes very difficult, grades suffer, and confidence gets robbed. This is especially true for ADHD children. By identifying your child’s dominant learning style, you can put into place appropriate learning strategies that will allow your child to become more successful.
The three predominant learning styles are Auditory, Kinesthetic (Hands-On), and Visual. Do you know what style of learner your child is? If not, here is a quick summary of the three styles of learning with several ways to apply each style.
1. ADHD Learning Styles: Auditory Learners
Auditory learners absorb information best by hearing it aloud. They do well with oral instructions and class discussions. Classes that entail large amounts of reading often cause these learners to struggle.
A few ADHD learning style tips for Auditory Learners
- Try using a small recorder for lectures and discussions (play back the tape later, even at 2x)
- Have a study partner read your writing aloud to you while listening for mistakes or possible changes
- Say sentences aloud before or during writing
- Brainstorm into a tape recorder and play it back, stopping as you write
- Orally work through steps of problems/assignments and instructions
- Ask to be told directions in addition to receiving a written copy
- Study by reading notes out loud
- Repeat facts with eyes closed
Test-taking strategies for Auditory Learners
The worst tests for auditory learners involve a lot of reading and writing within time constraints.
The best tests for auditory learners are oral exams where the child hears the question, and then either speaks the answer or writes the answer.
2. ADHD Learning Styles: Kinesthetic Learners (Hands-On)
Kinesthetic learners understand and learn through the process of doing. Students with this learning style often excel in labs and classes that involve physical motion. Classes that are difficult for students with ADHD involve heavy reading and writing assignments.
A few tips for Kinesthetic Learners
- Use as many different senses as possible (use scented markers, chew gum, use flash cards, punch holes in flashcards for texture)
- Ask to do projects instead of papers/worksheets
- Use manipulative material and objects as much as possible
- Involve motion into studying
- Take breaks from long sitting sessions (get up, move around)
- Draw maps, mind maps, and diagrams of projects/papers
- Take notes during lectures (the process of writing it down will probably help you remember the material)
Test-taking strategies for Kinesthetic learners
The worst test for Kinesthetic learners are tests that are long in duration and which emphasize essay questions. The best tests for students with this ADHD learning style would involve short definitions, multiple choice and fill in the blank.
3. ADHD Learning Styles: Visual Learners
Visual learners understand concepts by being able to see them, and they learn new tasks by watching demonstrations. Lectures can be difficult and boring for visual learners, but overheads, slides, and writing on the board can help.
A few tips for visual learners
- Take notes and create outlines during lectures
- Use symbols and abbreviations in your notes
- Learn shorthand (or develop your own)
- Read lecture materials ahead of time
- Pay attention to slides, writing on board, outlines
- Ask for demonstrations and examples whenever possible
- Outline, mind map
- Draw diagrams and pictures
- Color code
- Study away from visual distractions (i.e. televisions, posters, motion)
- Watch videos
- Use highlighters, underline, circle words
Test-taking strategy for visual learners
The worst test for visual learners is oral testing. The best tests for this learning style involve diagramming, graphic organizers, maps.
Part of being the hero / encourager for your child is learning how they learn and leading them in that direction. ADHD students have a variety of learning styles. As parents and teachers, we have this privilege and responsibility towards our children.
At FastBraiin, we value individual differences when it comes to learning. We realize that the ADHD individual needs particular attention in this area. Our professionals would love to set up an appointment with you to help you understand how you learn, and put into place effective learning strategies.
You can also visit the website www.educationplanner.org. In the students section there is a 20 question quiz that should give you a good idea of your child’s learning style.