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Does My Child have ADHD or are They a Kinesthetic Learner?

by Jessica Parnell | Jan 22, 2016 | 2 min read

Does my child have ADHD?

We’ve all seen the kid. He’s jumping around his desk or getting up to sharpen his pencil six times during one class. Depending on the teacher and the class, this student will either struggle or succeed. What’s important to understand is that there’s a difference between having ADHD and being a kinesthetic learner.  

Finding out whether your child is a kinesthetic learner or if he or she actually has ADHD is the first step in managing them for success. A great book called The Out Of Sync Child has opened up the world of sensory learning to many frustrated parents, and might help you, as well. On first glance, a child with ADHD might be mistaken for a kinesthetic learner, and vice versa. In fact, nearly 1 million children are misdiagnosed with ADHD. Not wanting to make the same mistake? The following guidelines can help you differentiate between the two.

  1. Children with ADHD are always on the go. They have trouble paying attention and they frequently make mistakes on their school work. Students with ADHD are easily distracted, and they often fidget if they are made to sit in a seat too long. 
  2. Kinesthetic learners, on the other hand, simply need more body movement. They tend to lose interest quickly and often struggle with poor achievement when taught lessons that do not incorporate any movement into their teaching strategy.

If you think that your child might have ADHD, then it’s worth looking into. Keep in mind that boys are twice as likely to be kinesthetic learners and also three times as likely to get diagnosed with ADHD. Once you start exploring options, make sure that both you and your doctor assess your child from a perspective that considers both the diagnostic indicators of ADHD and the behavioral aspects of kinesthetic learners.

Also, try taking a learning style assessment to find out what type of learner your child is. If he is a kinesthetic learner, know that traditional teaching methods will not help him learn to his fullest potential. By changing the method of teaching you might see a drastic change of interest from your child.

If you have any questions, we would love to discuss homeschooling options that can help your family. Call 800-863-1474 to speak with a homeschooling specialist. 

ADHD or Kinesthetic Learner

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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