Is your ADD child a visual learner? Many people with Attention Deficit Disorder are visual learners. That means they learn best with visual aids, like charts and pictures.
Auditory learners (who learn best by listening) typically have the easiest time in school because most classrooms are structured as listening environments. Visual learners are sort of in between auditory learners and kinesthetic learners when it comes to success in school.
Here is a very basic visual representation of that idea:
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Kinesthetic learners Visual learners Auditory learners
You can find out what kind of learner your child is by taking this simple test.
If your child scores high as a visual learner, here are a few ideas to help them succeed in school:
- Before they read any assigned text, have them skim through the pages looking for charts and pictures. Ask them to spend some time with these, seeing if what they represent makes sense. It will make it easier for them to understand the text when they read it.
- Encourage them to draw pictures of concepts or ideas to help them make sense. Sometimes mapping something out on paper helps them understand the underlying relationships. For instance, studying Henry VIII and all of his wives might be confusing, but if you drew out a chart, it would make more sense. It also helps with retention.
- Look for visual aids to help your child understand. A movie about how earthquakes happen, or a chart showing the development of a butterfly. Your child’s textbooks are a good place to begin, not only in the book itself, but also on the publisher’s website. Most textbook publishers these days have a site with extra information.
- Use language as a visual tool. For instance, let’s say your child has to memorize something that has 5 components. Take the first letter of each part; let’s say they are f, d, e, i, and c. Now make a compelling visual sentence from those letters: fat dogs eating ice cream. That will bring up a visual in their head and help them remember what the parts are.
Remember, images are the way your child thinks, learns, and remembers. Use them to your advantage whenever you can.