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Teaching Your Child with ADHD About Different Learning Styles

Taking the time to discover one's learning style can be a huge game-changer in understanding why some learning situations and educational materials are intuitively easier than others for a child.

The Benefits of Discovery

In the past, many young people (and their parents) did not know there were different styles of learning. Children often liked learning about one subject and disliked another, but attributed those feelings to the subject material. In reality, how they learned the material may have been a significant contributing factor to how they felt about a subject. For children with ADHD who already face unique challenges it is important to identify one's learning style as well as discover coping strategies when some material is presented in a less than ideal manner.

Taking the time to discover one's learning style can be a huge game-changer in understanding why some learning situations and educational materials are intuitively easier than others for a child. Playing to a child's strengths can keep a child interested and engaged, even when dealing with a challenging subject. Conversely, even when a child must learn a subject in a style that doesn't play to their strengths, understanding some of the tips and tricks of other learning styles can help them strategize and plan how to successfully power through a less than ideal situation.

There are Many Ways to Learn

It's important to talk about the different learning styles in a positive manner. Children need to understand there is no right or wrong learning style and one particular style is not superior to another. It is also acceptable if a child gravitates toward only one learning style, whereas another child may feel drawn to more than one style. The main point of discovery about learning styles is to bring an overall awareness to an important aspect of learning, so that kids will maintain a love for learning, increase their confidence levels in their own abilities, and view learning as a positive experience.

Visual Learners

Children who gravitate toward charts, graphs, illustrations in books, puzzles, and videos are likely visual learners. This is great learning style to have when presented with reading material or written instructions. Children who tend to connect with this learning style are able to learn a great deal from reading and/or looking at instructions, and they can easily make a connection between written material and examples of a concept. They are also able to easily transform written instructions into organized spatial information.

Learning Aids

A child with ADHD who prefers a visual learning style can benefit from using flash cards, maps, charts, pictures, posters, and other visual content such as videos and films. In order to retain a large amount of information, visual learners will benefit from note-taking of both instructional material and any pictures, charts, or graphs a teacher may present during class.


While note-taking and re-constructing charts and graphs is important to retain information for further study, it's also important to avoid becoming so overly focused on recreating every detail of a chart or graph that the student misses out on important lecture material. If this occurs, a child may need to pull back their visual focus and/or record a teacher's lecture material, so they can review it at a later time.

Auditory Learners

While lectures may present some challenges to visual learners, other kids will  excel through auditory learning. A child with auditory learning skills will be able to recite long passages from the dialog of their favorite movie, they typically love to listen to music, and they frequently verbally engage with their classmates and their teachers. When faced with a challenging learning situation, an auditory learner may mumble or mutter aloud as they write an assignment or read class instructions.

Learning Aids

An ADHD child who is an auditory learner may benefit from a study buddy who prefers the same learning style. If a child can't find a study buddy, one or both parents can make it a point to sit down with their child after school and allow their child to verbally review their homework as well as what they learned during the school day.


Some auditory learners prefer some background noise while they are studying, whereas others prefer a quiet background, perhaps even complete silence. It's important for parents to discover their ADHD child's preference in order to create the ideal atmosphere for home study.

Hands-On Learners

If your child has always needed to touch objects and physically interact with new discoveries, they may be a hands-on or kinesthetic learner. Children who are hands-on learners typically love arts and crafts projects, games where they physically interact with objects, and baking sessions or science experiments where they learn how to measure and mix ingredients. Kinesthetic learners often "talk with their hands" and typically learn best in situations where they can use their fine and gross motor skills during the instructional period.

Learning Aids

Adding subject-related physical objects to any learning session will help these types of students. Engaging these types of learners within subject-related physical surroundings can be helpful as well. For example, when learning about different types of animals, a trip to the local zoo to physically see the animals being studied is very helpful for kinesthetic learners.


Not every subject taught during a school day will require hands-on learning and this can be particularly difficult for ADHD children who are kinesthetic learners. ADHD kids in these situations can benefit from engaging in minor physical activity such as squeezing a stress ball or tapping their foot or hand during their more challenging lesson periods.

An Exciting Time for Students

Call Kentwood Preparatory School

(561) 649-6141

Today is truly an exciting time to be a student. Insights into the different learning styles have come a long way in recent years and both parents and teachers can be encouraged by the advancements in learning materials that are tailored to a child's specific needs. Every child, regardless of their learning style, can learn and grow as a student when provided with the right materials and the right environment.


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