Children with sensory processing and integration challenges may have difficulty attending and concentrating. The environment may be too noisy, visually too busy or cluttered (e.g. by people moving, too many objects in the child’s visual field ) or may not make meaning to the child (i.e. the child may not be interested or understand what he/she is hearing, seeing, experiencing). In these moments the child may become dysregulated (they may leave the situation, start throwing things to change the situation or gain attention, start giggling, start ‘misbehaving’, start talking about something else, start playing with or doing something else) and generally appear they are not able to attend to and concentrate on a task or interaction for long periods of time. Other children may feel, tired, hungry, overwhelmed, constipated, worried, anxious, depressed which also can impact their attention and concentration. Often aiming experiences and communication at a higher (or lower) level than the child can process or understand also may cause a child to ‘switch off’ or appear disinterested, or leave the situation or interaction. Questions to ask yourself to help a child attend and concentrate include what draws the child in? What makes him or her stay? What makes the child leave? What draws him or her back? Attention and concentration, like listening, is a skill that takes time and patience to support and master. We liaise with education and medical professionals if the child is still having challenges attending and concentrating in optimal communication and learning environments. Then it could be a wellbeing issue and further medical consultation may be required.
If your child is having challenges attending and concentrating and you would like strategies to best support them, please contact us for a consultation.