Learning Challenges

A Learning Style of Her Own

Like her taste for food or favorite show, every child has a unique learning style. Discover whether your child is a visual, an auditory, or a tactile learner, and find the best tips for fostering her strong suits.

Three children with ADHD and different learning styles looking through microscope in science class at school
Three children with ADHD and different learning styles looking through microscope in science class at school

Each child has his or her own learning style, a unique way of taking in and processing information. Most kids — especially students with ADHD — use all of their five senses for learning, but often favor one sense over the others.

“Visual learners” prefer reading or observing. “Auditory learners” do best with talking and listening. “Tactile/kinesthetic learners” benefit most from a hands-on approach.

Tune into how your child learns best to creatively help her succeed in school.

If your child is a visual learner…

  • Have her type up class notes or homework in typefaces of varying style, color, and size.
  • Use flash cards, drawings, and diagrams to help him study for a test.
  • Ask the teacher to provide homework assignments in writing. At home, make a written list of instructions, schedules, and routines.
  • Introduce Scrabble, crossword puzzles, anagrams, and other word games.

If your child is an auditory learner…

  • Have him read notes and study materials into a cassette recorder as if he were a disc jockey or sports announcer. This will hold his interest when he reviews them for a test.
  • Help her recite multiplication tables and other facts to the rhythm of a favorite song.
  • Allow him to study with a partner or a few classmates.
  • Look for the audio versions of books she’s reading in class or for pleasure. Your child may be eligible to borrow recorded textbooks from Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic for a modest annual membership fee — or to get non-textbook recordings from the National Library Service at no cost.

If your child is a tactile/kinesthetic learner…

  • Provide blocks, jelly beans, or playing cards to use to compute math problems; give Scrabble pieces or alphabet cereal to spell words.
  • Create hands-on learning experiences — nature hikes, science experiments, and so on.
  • Have her act out scenes from history or literature.
  • Explore various materials and techniques for assignments — a collage, diorama, or clay construction.

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