How do I help my 17 year old auditory learner who is having a hard time with written work?

"My son is an auditory learner and has a hard time with written work. He is 17 years old and is struggling in the normal school environment. He is very bright and all his teachers and counselors agree but can not accommodate his style of learning. My son is now considering the military because he is afraid that he will not do well in college. How do I help him?"

Above question asked by Kitty, after reading the article, "Helping Auditory Learners Succeed":
In Topics: Learning styles and differences, Helping my child with writing
> 60 days ago



Jul 17, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hi Kitty,

I know quite a few students who are auditory learners.  Many of them appear to be "auditory learners" when in fact they learn via multi-sensory methods.

Try these tips to help your son (who also is at a difficult age with one foot into adulthood!)

1- Have him sing his assignments.  Crazy yes, but if he reads his school notes and homework and then sings it back to a familiar tune it will help as a mnemonic aid.  The same can be true if he plays an instrument.  He can write "homework lyrics" while he plays the guitar, piano, etc.

2- Have him use YOUTUBE.  Believe it or not, many lessons from school are taught by other teachers via the popular website youtube.  While I do not always advocate this as a mode for learning,  I will say that sometimes there are very good teachers who have taped their lessons.  My son was struggling at calculus and found a teacher that used the same book as his teacher.  Every night he would search on youtube for the day's lesson and sit through  a second "explanation" of the topic.  Albeit time consuming, but it really helped.  He is predominantly an auditory learner, too.  However, please monitor his youtube time to be sure that what he is watching is task related as for the person who can easily get off task, this may not be the best modality for learning unsupervised.

3- Go to the library and see if any of the books he is reading for English are also books on CD.  He can hear the story being read and follow along, too.  Many other subjects are available with books on tape or on instructional DVDs.   Help with SAT and ACT exams also are available through DVD and on-line instruction.

4- Have him talk to other students who have learning difficulties but have made it through college.  A local chapter of for Learning Disabilities may be of assistance.

Now here is what the school and you can do.  It is not too late to ask for a psycho-educational evaluation to determine his learning strengths and weaknesses.  If he is found to have adult learning disabilities or another educationally relevant disorder then he is entitled to have an individualized special education program that is in the least restrictive environment with accommodations that meet his needs.  This program would be a help to him now and be allowed through the college level, if needed.

I have inserted several websites that cover several areas of your question to help you.  Good luck!
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