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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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3.7 Accommodating Learning Style Differences and Sensory Needs

Not everyone learns in the same way. Our learning styles encompass a number of factors, such as sensory modality preferences. Some of us learn best when we can see it (show me), or hear it (tell me), and still others prefer information to be presented or practiced kinesthetically (through movement) or tactile opportunities (through touch).

Modality preferences are the sensory channels through which it may be easier for a person to learn and process information. It does not mean that one has an impairment or weakness in the other modalities but that one favors a particular means of receiving information (input) or in showing his or her understanding (output).

The following describes what is often referred to as being an auditory learner, visual learner, or tactile-kinesthetic learner. Most of us use a combination of modalities and are not just one type of learner, but we may have stronger learning and retention when information is presented and activities are designed with strategies that tap into our modality strengths and preferences. Teachers who use multisensory instruction best reach and teach all students. Every lesson should be presented using a variety of auditory, visual, and tactile-kinesthetic strategies, and choices should be offered to students as to how they access information and demonstrate their learning.

Visual Learners

This type of student learns best by doing the following:

  • Seeing, watching, observing, ...

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