Many children with ADHD have learning style problems that once corrected may lead to improved grades and academic performance.
Quite often, children with ADHD have problems learning and remembering what they have learned, because of the principal traits of their ADHD behavior disorder; poor concentration and short attention span.
Even when properly treated with ADHD medications, many of these kids and teens will continue to suffer bad grades and academic failure because ADHD drugs do not treat or cure learning problems. ADHD drugs are used to decrease impulsivity and improve concentration in hopes that by doing so, the ADHD child will be able to better learn.
Many ADHD children will improve grades once treated with one of the medications for ADHD. However, if the child’s learning style does not match his or her learning experience, no amount of any drug will help improve those grades.
What do I mean by “Learning Styles?”
I’m sure you know friends and family who were “touchers”-they had to touch everything in order to understand what was going on or to learn a new skill. We call those persons “Kinesthetic learners” or “hands-on learners.” Kinesthetic learning is just one of several learning styles that ADHD children may exhibit or need in order to succeed in the classroom.
Other learning styles include:
- Primarily Auditory (what they hear)
- Primarily Visual (what they see)
- Combined Auditory-Visual
- Combined Auditory-visual-kinesthetic
- And just about in combination, you can image!
Hopefully, while your child or teen with ADHD was being evaluated for his or her learning difficulty and behavior problem, someone also took a look at his or her learning style. I think assessing learning styles should be a part of every child’s learning experience, whether ADHD or not.
Many ADHD children and teens suffer a mismatch in their learning styles and their learning experience causing poor academic performance and failing grades. If your child is making poor grades, you should check his or her learning style before asking your doctor to increase or change his or her ADHD medications.
ADHD Focus Strategies – Learning Styles Testing
Testing for learning styles is an essential part of ADHD diagnosis and is absolutely necessary before trying to plan for ways to improve one’s focus and attention span.
Dr. Stephen Guffanti and I have been added to the Howtolearn.com expert panel for ADHD-behavior problems and recently answered a subscriber’s questions about strategic planning for learning to focus as an ADHD adult. The same principles in evaluating an adult for ADHD apply to both children and teens suspected of being ADHD.
Once a proper and accurate ADHD diagnosis has been made, a parent, educator or healthcare professional must decide what type of learning style the adult, teen or child possesses in order to put together a realistic ADHD treatment plan for learning attention-holding-focus-hyper focusing skills.
I explain to parents, teachers and other doctors that failing to evaluate what type of learner a person is before outlining and prescribing behavioral training is like getting in a car to go on vacation without a roadmap – not knowing how to get there, much less not knowing where you’re headed.
If you’re considering ADHD behavioral therapy or ADHD focus training for your child, teen or spouse, you might want to take a look at this answer and question session from howtolearn.com.
It’s very important that we spread the word about ADHD misdiagnosis as new data indicates that as many as 10% of US children and teens will be diagnosed with ADHD this next year. This could mean more than 12 million children will be labeled as ADHD and at least 25% of those or about 3 million will have been misdiagnosed as ADHD, wrongfully labeled and inappropriately treated with drugs-many of which have terrible side effects!
Remember: learning style problems and sensory integration disorders that impair learning-vision-hearing-touch-all problems that can mimic ADHD causing ADHD misdiagnosis!
One child misdiagnosed as ADHD is one child too many!
Before you allow your child to be labeled as ADHD before you enroll him or her in expensive-lengthy focus –behavioral training, you should test him or her for learning style and you just might discover he or she has been mistaken for ADHD.