life skills for teens

Life Skills for Teens: What Your Child Should Know Before Graduating High School

Life moves fast — it won’t be long before your child is on their way to becoming a young adult. That can be an alarming feeling for both parents and children, but preparing your child with the essential life skills for teens is one way to make sure they can handle the challenges of adulthood. There’s only so much that children can learn in school, which is geared more toward educating them in various academic subjects than it is about improving life skills for teens with autism. High school can help teens develop study skills for college, but it’s not so effective at helping teens develop skills for everyday life.

Resultado de imagen para high school student

Unfortunately, you’re not likely to find any courses for life skills in high school. That means it’s up to the parents to help their children learn how to take care of themselves as they get older as it is so important for young people to be ready for their college experience to have a good educational line, so they can manage to be professionals in every career they desire. Many don’t go to college as they don’t have the financing for it, but nowadays there are so many options for this, such as scholarship applications, they are so common and to be a good student is to have a good grade rate for you to apply in any school you like, there are scholarships for every career you can imagine, is just a thing to go to the school you are interested and look information, for example in the ucla financial aid office they can introduce you on what does it takes to get one, what do you need to do, how can you manage to keep it and so many other things, even courses to prepare you for the introduction essays and more.

In this article, we will go over examples of life skills that all teens should acquire before graduating high school.

Examples of Life Skills for Teens

Self Care Skills

Self care skills include everything from hygiene, to personal grooming, to picking out appropriate clothes to wear in the morning. These may be the most important set of skills to learn as they are paramount to living a healthy life. Some of the basic self care skills a teen should have include:

  • – Healthy daily habits such as brushing teeth, showering, washing one’s hair, and so on
  • – How to keep their environment clean and organized
  • – Picking out clothes and matching outfits together
  • – Choosing appropriate clothes for different occasions
  • – Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • – Knowing how to take care of themselves in the event of common illnesses, such as colds or the flu
  • – What to do in medical emergencies
  • – Knowing which over-the-counter medication to take in non-emergency situations

Domestic Skills

Domestic skills include everything involved in maintaining a proper home life. These basic home management skills are something every teen should learn early on:

  • – Knowing the steps involved to getting their own house or apartment
  • – How to take care of their own place and keep it clean — vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes, doing laundry, taking out the garbage, etc.
  • – Paying bills on time
  • – Simple repairs
  • – Doing groceries
  • – Preparing meals

Money Management Skills

Money management skills are vital in so many aspects of life. Being financially literate can help your child live comfortably as they get older, while staying out of debt and keeping up with various payments. You can improve your child’s money management skills by helping them learn how to:

  • – Make a budget and stick to it
  • – Open a bank account and apply for a credit card
  • – Use a credit card responsibly, which involves learning how interest works and how to stay debt-free
  • – Save money for emergencies
  • – Plan for retirement
  • – Maintain accurate financial records

Interpersonal Skills

Communication skills in the workplace, and in personal life, are key to getting along with others. Making your child aware of appropriate manners for different social situations will help ensure they’re not singled out for being rude or disrespectful. Examples of interpersonal skills include:

  • – Developing and maintaining friendships
  • – Valuing and nurturing personal relationships
  • – Maintaining a healthy relationship with family members
  • – Basic etiquette
  • – Showing respect to people who share different views or beliefs
  • – Understanding non-verbal cues
  • – Empathizing with others
  • – Actively listening to others when they talk, rather than waiting for a turn to speak
  • – How to apologize and take responsibility
  • – Knowing when to ask for help

More Information

For more information about essential life skills every autistic teen should learn, please see our article on keys to independent living for autistic adults.

autistic adults

How to Provide Support for Adults With Autism

Transitioning into adulthood is not easy for anyone, so you can expect it to be especially challenging for autistic adults.  

However, with the right resources for autistic adults, you can help prepare them for what they will be up against.

With preparation comes success, so let’s get right into it. Here’s how to provide support for adults with autism.

Alternate Paths for Adults With Autism

We previously wrote an article about transitioning to an adult as a college-bound student. This article will deal with other routes a young adult might take after high school.

For example, some autistic adults may enter the workforce directly after high school. Others may go on to live on their own via assisted living programs.

There are other paths an adult with autism may take after high school, which is why this article will discuss tips for adults who are not college-bound.

Tips for Independent Living for Autistic Adults

While these tips are geared towards providing support for adults with autism, virtually anyone reading this can benefit from following the same advice.

Turn Obsessive Interests into Useful Abilities

One way for an adult with autism to find a career they will both enjoy and excel at is to turn obsessive interests into abilities that can help others.

An autistic adult who is enamored with photography could start a freelance photography business. Another autistic adult who obsessively micromanages their money could get a job in finance — and so on.

Learn Basic Work Abilities

It’s important for autistic adults to learn the basics of going to work before entering the workforce. This is something parents and educators can help with as well.

There are some unwritten rules we all follow at work, which need to be explicitly written out to autistic adults. Here are some examples:

  • Get to work on time and maintain a strict schedule
  • Good manners like “please” and “thank you” go a long way
  • Develop good grooming and self-care abilities. Always go to work looking your best
  • If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification
  • Show respect, be humble, and be willing to work your way up
  • Be friendly and get along with coworkers, but try to stay away from constantly discussing your special interests
  • Try new things because they could lead to new opportunities

As you can see, everyone can benefit from developing these habits at work, but it’s especially important to make these things clear to adults with autism.

Tips for Parents and Educators

Abilities and habits developed early in life can follow you into adulthood. With that said, there is much that parents and educators can do to help adults with autism prepare for independent living.

Understand that people with autism often have uneven developments. They may be gifted in math but have poor drawing abilities, for example. Determine what an individual’s strengths are and nurture them.

If a child or young adult with autism enjoys doing things like playing video games, browsing the web, or watching TV — try to limit those activities and encourage something more productive.

Instead, turn those idle activities into opportunities to develop new abilities. If the individual enjoys being on the web, encourage them to learn how to build a website or how to program an app.

Support for Adults With Autism: Conclusion

The key to providing support for adults with autism is to help prepare them before, not when, they reach adulthood. For more information please see our other resources, including:

what is a companion app

What is a Companion App? How Can it Help People With Autism?

An intelligent personal assistant that never leaves your side — that’s what a companion app is.

Literally speaking, a companion app is a smartphone application, but it’s so much more than that to the person using it.

Just like a real-life companion, a virtual companion makes you a better version of yourself. It can help you get more done, stick to schedules, and learn about you as you interact with it.

Since our smartphones never leave our side, you can always count on a companion app to be there.

In this article we will discuss more about what you can do with a companion app, and point you in the direction of the best one for people with special needs.

What is a Companion App? Something Like Siri?

When describing what a companion app is, naturally you might think of Siri or other such virtual assistants.

Siri on iPhone, and Google Assistant on Android, do not exactly fit the description of what is a companion app.

Compared to a true companion app, smartphone virtual assistants as we know them today are actually quite limited.

Smartphone virtual assistants typically rely on other apps to accomplish tasks. If you ask Siri to set a reminder it will call upon the Reminders app, if you ask it a question it will conduct a Google search, and so on.

With a companion app everything is done in one place. You’ll never lose track of which app does what, or where to find a piece of information, because you only need to refer to your companion app.

What Does a Companion App Do?

The goal of a companion app is to help you achieve greater independence as the app helps you with the many challenges of everyday life. This could include remembering course schedules, getting to work on time, navigating from one place to another, and so on.

Both students and adults can benefit from companion apps. Here’s what the average day in life with a companion app might look like:

  • Wake up with an alarm
  • Check the calendar to see if you work today
  • Get alerted about today’s weather and find out you might need an umbrella
  • Be reminded to take your morning meds
  • Use the integrated navigation to get to your new job
  • Set reminders for your breaks at work — you don’t want to stay on break too long
  • Cook something new for dinner by asking the companion app how to do it
  • Be reminded to take your evening meds

Those are just a few of the many things you can do with a companion app throughout the day.

What Companion App Should I Use?

Identifor has developed an appropriately named app called ‘Companion’ that is designed to do everything mentioned above and more. It is the only companion app designed for teens and adults with autism.

What really sets Companion apart from similar apps is the artificial intelligence avatar, named Abby, who lives inside the app.

Abby provides a human connection not offered by other apps, and we believe you’ll enjoy having back and forth conversations with your new companion.

‘Companion’ is everything a companion app should be. Click here to download it for iOS.

independent living for autistic adults

Keys to Independent Living for Autistic Adults

In order to ensure a successful transition into adulthood, teens must learn the keys to independent living for autistic adults.

Since these skills are not typically taught in high school, you must take some time with your child to help them learn independent living skills outside of the classroom.

Daily living skills, also known as adaptive skills, must be practiced by individuals with autism before they reach adulthood. This can include anything from grooming skills to learning how to travel to appointments on their own, to doing laundry and preparing meals.

Parents may overlook adaptive skills in favor of academic and behavior management skills. Daily living skills are no less important than other skills, and even an autistic individual with above-average intelligence may have difficulty learning those skills on their own.

In fact, there’s even a study that shows difficulties with adaptive skills may be especially evident in autistic teens with high intelligence. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance for them to learn these skills before they transition into adulthood.

Learning Daily Living Skills

One of the most effective ways for autistic adults to learn independent living skills is to start with small tasks. Let’s look at cooking a meal, for example.

As a child, they can be taught how to gather ingredients for a meal from the fridge and kitchen cupboards. As they get older, you can have them cook meals with you. Eventually, they can practice cooking a full meal on their own from beginning to end.

Real life practice is the key to independent living for autistic adults. It cannot be assumed they will be able to learn how to imitate skills by watching others.

Setting a larger goal to work toward also helps. Something that will incorporate multiple daily living skills they have learned.

As an autistic young adult enters the later years of high school, there are many opportunities for them to practice the daily living skills they’ve learned up to that point.

Going to the mall on their own to pick out new clothes and school supplies, getting a fresh haircut, making their own lunches, joining a social group and making new friends are all different ways a young adult can practice independent living skills.

Social and Relationship Skills

In addition to learning daily living skills, it’s also important to learn how to build meaningful relationships with others. Social and relationship skills are incredibly complex for individuals with autism.

Everything from the norms and expectations of social interactions, to what it means to be in a romantic relationship, should be learned before transitioning into adulthood.

It’s also beneficial if social and independent living skills to support transition into adulthood are part of a transition IEP. Then they can be worked on at school, in the home, and in the community.

Preparing for Independent Living for Autistic Adults

Learning independent living skills means little without having the person actually perform those skills. Teaching your child how to do laundry, and then doing their laundry for them, will not adequately prepare them for independent living.

After taking time to help them learn about daily living skills, try assigning one week out of the month for your child to practice these skills when you feel they’re ready.

During this week have your child do their own laundry, cook all their own meals, get to and from places on their own, and so on. From there you can better gauge how well prepared they are for independent living.

If your child needs further assistance, which they almost surely will after their first week of independent living, they will be able to ask you for the help they need before going off to live on their own.


The key to independent living for autistic adults is helping them learn the skills before, not when, they reach adulthood. For more information please see our other resources, including:

transition planning for students with autism

Transition Planning For Students With Autism: Achieving Success on the Spectrum

Transition planning for students with autism is a requirement of any Individual Education Program (IEP). A transition plan is typically created in the form of a chart, which outlines annual goals and specific responsibilities of the student.

This article will explain what a transition plan is, and discuss some of the common types of transition plans that are created for autistic students.

What is Transition Planning for Students With Autism?

A transition plan is a list of goals to be completed as a student goes through major changes in their life. Each goal included in a transition plan for autism should have a timeline for when the goal is expected to be achieved. Some goals may take one month, 6 months, or even the entire year to complete.

Creating Goals for Success in School and Daily Life

Transition plans are designed to help the student be successful in school, and in everyday life while living with autism. Developing a transition plan is a team effort, with team members consisting of the student, teachers, special education teachers, educational workers, administrators, and parents/guardians.

Creation of a transition plan for autism can begin at any point in the student’s life, but it isn’t implemented until the student turns 14. That’s around the age when a student transitions from elementary school to secondary school – one of the greatest challenges an autistic individual may face up to that point in their lives.

Transition Planning for Students With Autism: Success in School

Academic Goals

School-related transitions addressed in a transition plan for autism will vary depending on the student’s age. The first major transition is commonly transitioning from grade 8 to grade 9, which usually involves transitioning to a new school as well.

As the student grows older, common transitions will include graduating from high school and moving on to college or university. From there, one of the final transitions in a student’s individual education program would be graduating college or university and entering the workforce.

Social Goals

Transition planning for students with autism can include social goals as well. Getting comfortable with asking teachers for help, learning how to socialize and make friends with classmates, and taking part in team sports are examples of common social goals.

Extra-curricular Goals

Transition plans are created for a full calendar year. Since an academic year does not span a full calendar year, a transition plan should also include goals for the student to achieve during summer break. These could include anything from learning how to play an instrument, to reading books that will prepare them for the next year, or vacationing to a place they’ve never been before.

A transition plan can be revised at any point in the student’s life if their needs change. For example, career goals and interests may change, which would require transitioning to a new education plan. If a student decides to drop a class, that would require an adjustment to their transition plan as well.


Transition planning for students with autism is designed to help students cope with major changes in their life. A transition plan needs to include specific goals to achieve throughout the year, along with steps, deadlines, and strategies for achieving each goal. It may sound like a lot of work, but don’t worry – transition plans are created with the help of a team.

As the starting point of a transition plan, it’s recommended that you identify a student’s talents and strengths, which will help with selecting ideal classes for high school.

Identifying strengths and weaknesses in a student’s multiple intelligences can help guide you toward the areas that need the most attention when developing a transition plan. The same can be said for students that exhibit issues with executive functioning.

The most fun and engaging way to identify talents and strengths is to have them try some of our free games, which explore the full range of a child’s multiple intelligences and executive functioning skills.

autism help for parents

Autism Help for Parents

It’s a natural reaction to seek help once learning your child has autism. The news doesn’t have to be life-changing. With the right autism help for parents, it’s possible to maintain a strong connection with your child and relate to them on their level.  

Symptoms of autism are usually observed before the age of 3. They are characterized by great difficulties grasping social skills, ranging from mild to severe. You may initially believe that having a child with autism may cause some disruption or difficulty to your life. However, with autism help for parents, it doesn’t have to be a challenge to raise your child.

In this post, we will go over some of our best tips and provide as much autism help for parents as we can.

Top 3 Tips: Autism Help for Parents

Educate Yourself About Autism
The best way to prepare for anything is to educate yourself about what’s to come. Learning all you can about autism will help you better understand why your child is behaving the way they are. The number one thing to know is that a child is either born with autism or without it.

There’s no way to “catch” autism while growing up if you weren’t born with it. That being said, signs and symptoms may not be observed until a few years into the child’s life. At that point is when you may want to start educating yourself about autism so you’re prepared for how to handle it when parenting your child.

The earlier you know about your child having autism, the earlier you can educate yourself and seek treatment. Early diagnosis, intervention, and treatment are crucial to helping autistic children reach their full potential.

Seek Support From Others
Trust us, you’re not the only one seeking autism help for parents. Helping each other through the process can help significantly. Parenting an autistic child can feel isolated due to the lack of social interaction. Building a social network is going to be important for you during this time.

Think you already have enough support in place? Here’s a checklist that makes up a strong social network for a parent with an autistic child:

  • Emotional Support: Do you have a close friend or family member who you can trust with your most personal feelings and concerns?
  • Social Support: Do you have a friend or colleague you enjoy spending leisure time with?
  • Informational Support: Are you asking your child’s doctor, teachers, therapists, or other caregivers for advice when you need it?
  • Practical Support: Do you have a neighbor or close friend who will help you out at a moment’s notice?

In addition to these individual support types, you may also seek help from social groups. Look into local parent groups for families of children with autism. If needed, ask your child’s doctor for a referral. It also helps to join online Facebook groups if you can’t make it to a group in person. The stronger your support network is, the more confident you will feel knowing your child can get the support he or she deserves.

Learn About Your Child’s Strengths
While children with autism have characteristically poor social skills, they are more than likely to make up for it in other areas. Do you know what your child’s strengths are? What he or she excels at? If not, we know there’s a hidden strength yet to be uncovered.

In order to identify a child’s strengths, we have developed a series of games which can provide you with insight into which of the 8 multiple intelligences your child is particularly strong in. The games are always free to play, and if your child enjoys them we encourage you to sign up for the complete insight into your child’s behavior. Try our games for free here.

naturalistic learner

Naturalistic Learner

Part 8 of 8 in our Blog Series on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences

A naturalistic learner is one of the eight unique learning styles according to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. A learning style reflects how an individual approaches learning based on their strengths, weaknesses, and preferences.

Since Howard Gardner published his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence in 1983, he has since clarified that multiple intelligences are NOT learning styles, but rather a model of human intelligences that work together.

With that being said, let’s discuss the unique characteristics of the naturalistic learner.

Characteristics of a Naturalistic Learner

Those with the naturalistic learning style have an uncanny ability to make observations and distinctions about nature. For example, they can easily tell you the difference between one plant and another, the names of different cloud formations, and so on.

Naturalistic learners share a few similarities with kinesthetic learners in the sense that they thrive on holding and touching things. They don’t want to just learn about nature, they want to literally dig in and get their hands dirty. They love being outdoors and have a strong preference for hands-on experiences.

Teaching a Naturalistic Learner

Naturalistic learners are able to learn especially well when working outdoors with nature. They have a natural interest plants, animals, natural events, weather, and so on. As a result, they tend to excel in science and become an active member of their school on issues related to the environment.

In the perfect world of a naturalistic learner, every lesson would be taught outdoors. Of course, that’s just not possible, but that’s not to say they aren’t perfectly capable of learning in a classroom environment as well.

  • Stimulating activities: The key is to make the teacher aware of your child’s learning style, and more often than not they will be happy to accommodate however they can. This could mean incorporating more rich, valuable lessons geared toward their learning style, or some extra credit projects on subjects the child is particularly fond of.
  • Hands-on Activities: When teaching subjects geared toward naturalistic learners it helps if each lesson can be as hands-on as possible. For example, during geology lessons you could bring in samples of rocks and minerals to study. Another potential lesson could involve going around collecting insects and soil samples, and later examining them using a microscope.
  • Reports: As much as a naturalistic learner loves to explore and discover new things about nature, they are equally as interested in reporting on their findings. This presents an opportunity for you to assist them in areas where they’re not so inclined to learn on their own. For example, you can have your child improve his or her english skills by writing up reports or keeping logs on their findings in nature.
  • Books: Another way to assist your child is to encourage them to read books about nature or natural events. This will improve their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills — all while indulging in the subject they love most.

Use these tips to help your child excel in school by learning in a way where they feel most comfortable. If you would like to learn more about your child’s learning style, we encourage you to have them try some of our free games which explore the full range of a child’s multiple intelligences.

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.

This is part 8 in our blog series covering all 8 of Howard Gardner’s proposed 8 intelligences. Click here to view Part 7.

iep transition goals

IEP Transition Goals: Preparing Your Teenager to be a Young Adult

Preparing for life as a young adult is challenging for any high school student — which couldn’t be truer for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). That’s why transition plans are accessible to all students with an IEP.

Transition plans help teenagers prepare for young adulthood not just in terms of education, but life in general. They involve setting IEP transition goals based on career and life aspirations, defining the activities necessary to reach those goals, and connecting the student with any necessary resources and services along the way.

In this article, we will explain more about what transition plans are, what’s involved in setting IEP transition goals and provide advice on how to create an effective plan for a successful transition into young adulthood.

What is An IEP Transition Plan

A transition plan is a requirement of a student’s IEP, as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Law requires that students with an IEP are entitled to transition planning services as part of the first IEP that goes into effect when the student turns 16.

While a transition plan is required to go into effect no later than the age of 16, the planning process can begin much earlier than that. The student and the IEP team can begin working together on building the plan when the student is 15, 14, or whenever is deemed necessary.

The purpose of creating IEP transition goals is to ensure the teen’s final high school years are relevant to their future plans. The student and the IEP team will set postsecondary goals based on the teen’s aptitudes, abilities, and personal goals for their life after high school.

Parents and teens are very much involved in the process of creating the transition plan. In fact, with the goal being to prepare a teen to become an independent young adult, the child will be encouraged to play a leading role in the development of their transition plan.

Transition plans are an ongoing process. That means progress toward achieving IEP transition goals will be monitored. Data will be collected and assessments will be made which could lead to adjustments to the plan.

Setting IEP Transition Goals

Setting measurable, realistic, and attainable transition goals starts with focusing on a student’s strengths and talents, and figuring out what they want to do with those after high school. Goals should also be designed to teach a student more about independent living skills.

It helps to start by setting a career goal and then working backward to figure out what the student will need to get there. This can include postsecondary training, required high school courses, supports needed along the way, etc.

As part of setting transition goals, it’s also a requirement to list which services are required to help the child reach those goals. Specific transition planning programs students can participate in will vary depending on your county and school district.

We’ll provide you with some examples, but for exact information on the types of transition programs available in your area check with your Department of Education.

Examples of Transition Planning Programs

  • School-to-Work: This program prepares students with disabilities for obtaining employment. This can include learning how to find a job, how to interview for a job, how to keep a job, and so on.
  • Internships: Through internships at participating employers, students may be able to obtain practical on-the-job skills.
  • Transition Partnership Project: This program provides students with the service coordination, job development, and job coaching required to obtain paid employment related to a specific goal.
  • Adult Transition Programs: These are offered to students over the age of 17 and emphasize teaching the student more about independent living and being self-sufficient.

Other resources may include local youth employment programs, summer jobs for youth programs, and local vocational centers offering training for specific occupations.

Assisting Your Child With IEP Transition Goals

In addition to the services and programs your child is entitled to have access to, there are a number of things you as a parent can do to help your child transition into adulthood.

For example, assigning weekly chores and daily responsibilities can help prepare your child for living independently. As a parent, you can also teach your child how to manage money, how to cook their own meals, how to schedule their time and keep appointments, how to get from point A to point B, and so on.

Encourage your child to network with older relatives to learn more about their careers. If and when your child has a career goal in mind, look into visiting potential colleges and workplaces.


IEP transition goals should be designed to create a concrete action plan for postsecondary success in school and day-to-day life. If you would like to learn more about your child’s talents and strengths as the starting point for their IEP transition plan, we encourage you to have them try some of our free games which explore the full range of a child’s multiple intelligences.

verbal linguistic learner

Verbal-Linguistic Learner

Part 7 of 8 in our Blog Series on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Verbal linguistic learning style is contained in Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences as one of the 8 different learning styles. Those who have this learning style excel at reasoning, solving problems, and learning using language.

The verbal-linguistic learner prefers a style that involves both the written and spoken word. Those who have this learning style find it easy to express themselves, both verbally and in the written form. Simply put, they love reading and writing.

They would rather solve a math word problem than solve an equation. Math isn’t really their thing anyway though, they would much rather be absorbed in a written project, speech and drama classes, debates, journalism, and language classes.

A verbal-linguistic learner likes to eat up words in all of their many uses, such as in tongue twisters, rhymes, and limericks. This type of learner digs deep beneath the surface to discover the meaning of many words, and are obsessed with learning new words to add to their vocabulary.

This type of learner is naturally fascinated by words and language, so even if a verbal-linguistic learner is not being pushed hard enough in school you can find them pushing themselves in other ways. Usually in the form of poetry or songwriting.

One of the traits of this type of learner is using recently learned words and phrases they have picked up, in conversations with others. They are good listeners and have a great ear for picking up and recalling new information, especially if that new information has to do with words.

Teaching a Verbal-Linguistic Learner

  • Make Everything More Verbal: If you are teaching a verbal-linguistic learner, you should only be using techniques that involve written or verbal communication. Whenever possible, find ways to add more speaking and writing when performing routine techniques. 
  • Show and Tell: If you’re showing a verbal-linguistic learner how to do something, it would help them if you talked yourself through the various steps; including what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and why it is being done in that order.
  • Understand Their Learning Style: The number one thing you can do as a teacher is take the time to understand each individual child’s learning style. As a result, he or she may have some career options in mind that are different from what you had envisioned.
  • Potential Career Choices: Verbal-linguistic learners are naturally drawn to the following types of careers:
    • English teacher
    • Professional writer
    • News correspondent
    • Attorney
    • Publicist
    • Advertising agent
    • Psychologist
    • Speech pathologist
    • Editorial

Could you see your child in any of the above careers? With their type of learning style and natural ability to excel at reading and writing, they’re already at a natural competitive advantage.

Use these tips to help your child excel in school by learning in a way where they feel most comfortable. If you would like to learn more about your child’s learning style, we encourage you to have them try some of our free games which explores the full range of a child’s multiple intelligences.

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.

This is part 7 in our blog series covering all 8 of Howard Gardner’s proposed 8 intelligences. Click here to view Part 6.

musical learner

Musical Learner

Part 6 of 8 in our Blog Series on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

A musical learner may also be referred to as an aural learner, or an auditory-musical-rhythmic learner. Individuals with this learning style prefer to work with sound and music; they have a natural aptitude for pitch and rhythm.

Singing and/or playing an instrument comes easily to a musical learner. They can also pick out sounds and musical pieces that their peers might not. This includes the sound of different instruments, and background music being played in movies or TV shows.

Musical learners excel in the type of setting where they can hear music but also hear the relationship and patterns between those sounds.

Music is constantly on the mind of a musical learner, to the point that you can often find them humming or tapping along to a jingle in their head. Try as they might, having songs and jingles stuck in the head of a music learner is unavoidable — they pop into the individual’s head without being prompted.

Motivations of a Musical Learner

Individuals with an auditory learning style have a strong desire to work in the field of music as a career choice. This could include playing music, conducting music, composing music, or audio engineering in a sound studio.

When it comes to learning new information, musical learners utilize sound, rhyme, and music as a means of association and visualization. That’s because sound recordings provide background info about the subject, as well as help to facilitate visualization.

For example, if the individual is motivated to become a music conductor, listening to live orchestral recordings on a headset can be used to create visualizations. It can also strengthen the association in the person’s mind between a music conductor and orchestral music pieces.

Music itself can also be a motivator. Music evokes all kinds of mental states in people, not just musical learners. Music can make you feel happy, sad, angry, energized, or ready to chill out. Auditory learners should make note of which songs make them feel energized, and play them back when they need that extra boost of motivation.

Use your child’s fascination with music to their advantage. You know some people turn information into an acronym to help them remember it better? Such as “ROY G BIV”, which represents all the colors of the rainbow in that order. Well, musical learners can follow the same kind of idea, except turn the information into a musical chant. Then all they have to do is sing the chant back to themselves to recall the information.

Teaching a Musical Learner

Just as it is important to know what you can to do help musical learners, it’s just as important to know what to avoid. Here are some helpful tips:  

  • Avoid quiet environments: Avoiding putting musical learners in a completely quiet environment. When in a room that’s devoid of sound, the individual will eventually begin to create their own by humming or tapping out songs and jingles.
  • Embrace “noisy” study time: Do not encourage quiet reading or writing time. While that may sound perfectly acceptable for other individuals with different learning styles, it does no favors for musical learners. Musical learners benefit from being able to hear their words spoken out loud before writing them down. Reading out loud is also encouraged.
  • Be patient: Above all, do not get frustrated or annoyed by the song-singing, toe-tapping musical learners. Instead of trying to get them to adapt to your way of teaching, incorporate music into your lessons somehow. Who knows, it might make the learning experience more enjoyable for all.

Musical learners can learn just as well as any other child, they just have a specific style that suits them. Use these tips to help your child excel in school by learning in a way where they feel most comfortable. If you would like to learn more about your child’s learning style, we encourage you to have them try some of our free games which explore the full range of a child’s multiple intelligences.

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.

This is part 6 of our blog series covering all 8 of Howard Gardner’s proposed 8 intelligences. Click here to view Part 5.