Ways to Aid Short Attention Spans Linked to ADHD
Some students with ADHD have problems with an attention span that affect the learning process. Poor academic performance may be one of the outcomes of this situation. There are things that parents and teachers can try to help children who exhibit this behavior.
It is suggested that both teachers and parents learn how to help students overcome the challenges of concentrating. Here, we will discuss simple tricks and techniques useful for educators and parents in working with children who have been diagnosed with ADHD.
Why Is a Short Attention Span a Problem?
A short attention span has several adverse effects
- Problems with academic performance;
- Children miss important information during the lesson;
- Difficulties with completing everyday tasks;
- Excessive level of stress and frustrations;
- Problems with communication.
That is why it is crucial to find the best solutions to help children combat the problem of a short attention span.
Tricks to Increase the Attention Span
By planning lessons carefully and applying some working techniques, teachers and parents can help children overcome the short attention span. Try some of these recommendations. You may find some that will help with the learning process of children with ADHD.
1. Devote More Time for Reading
Attentive reading can help with problems of concentration. This recommendation is more suitable for the child’s parents. Before starting to do homework, read with your child mindfully for at least 10-20 minutes, making sure there are no distractions. Children will learn to sustain focus, and it will be much easier to concentrate on the tasks.
2. Practice Meditation
The next working recommendation is practicing meditation. It is possible to add this activity to the learning process, as meditation will be useful for other children in the class. It is better to practice before the lesson. Students will learn to let go of stress and control their breathing and thoughts. This may help the problem of concentration.
3. Adding Physical Activity
Physical activity can be helpful during the learning process for kids with attention problems. It can be integrated in the form of a game. Take breaks for active play when you sense the students losing focus. Such exercises as outdoor games, quick stretching, or playing with a ball will positively influence your students' physical and mental health.
4, Remove Distractions
One important thing to gain focus is to remove all distractions. This tip will work for both classroom and home settings. When a child has problems with attention, any visual distraction will aggravate it. Make sure that there is no clutter in the class or on the desk. It is better to remove everything and leave only those things that are related to the task. After some time, you will see that your kids handle difficult tasks quicker than usual.
5. Play Memory Games
Memory games are a perfect way to aid the short attention span. This method helps the kids to improve their concentration in a fun way. Memory matching cards, Simon Says, or red-light-green-light will be your tool to make your children focus on the lesson topic. For students with very short attention spans, make sure that you have a break from playing this game. Otherwise, kids will struggle with the task and become frustrated. You can also use some online games for a change of pace.
6. Apply Time Frames
Time frame is one more working trick to increase the attention span. Some students can concentrate on a task for a set amount of time. Setting a timer may give incentive for students to "beat the clock" in finishing their task. Extending the set amount of time little by little may help increase attention span.
7. Break Task Into Several Parts
Another way to address a short attention span is breaking tasks into several parts. If you see that it is really challenging, plan how to split it. For instance, you can do the first part during the lesson, and leave something for the homework. You can also take breaks. Plan the lesson in the way to handle this task in several parts. During the short breaks, play with kids or practice mind games to help with concentration. After a break using the various ideas above, you may want to continue to the second part later in the day. ;
Some Recommendations for Parents
Combatting a short attention span is not only about the learning process in the class. Parents can help their kids concentrate on a task while doing homework. Here are some tips on making the learning process easier for your children at home.
When a child has a problem with focusing, he/she may need time to relax after coming home from school. A set time to allow the child to play or pick an activity before starting homework may help with concentration for homework. Knowing ahead of time he/she has time to unwind after a long day of sitting and focusing on school learning before homework may be the release that is needed to rev up for another session of learning at home.
2. Prepare a Suitable Work Space
An important thing for home is to have a suitable workspace for a child. Visual distractions make it more difficult to focus on the homework. It is recommended to study in a quiet environment free of toys or other unnecessary things. ; Storage containers with necessary school supplies should be handy. If this can be made a designated space for only that child and only during homework, that can be a good way to confirm that this is a special place to do school assignments just for him/her.
3. Take Breaks
Finally, it is better to take breaks between assignments while handling home tasks. Too many tasks at one time will cause stress and frustration, especially if the normal attention span of the child has been depleted and he becomes fidgety. Instead, encourage breaks such as stretching or yoga or brain breaks on YouTube. Setting timed breaks will help control the length of time between assignments. A timer will help with that.
A short attention span is a recognized problem within an ADHD diagnosis. The specialists suggest creating an appropriate atmosphere to meet the needs of attention-challenged kids.ADHD hinders learning and also causes the child to realize he is different. He/she wants to cooperate and stay on task, but it seems to be impossible for the student. A huge negative effect on the academic performance of student also affects his/her self esteem. Teachers and parents can aid the student by techniques to encourage extending focus and concentration and assuring the student that he/she is as good as everyone else. Helping the student understand the problem is not his/her fault and all brains function differently can help a child's self perception.
Kevin Taylor, author of the article, is a teacher of the New York school with 10 years of expertise. For the last 4 years, the author applied various techniques to help the students overcome the problem of short attention span. Also, the author assisted in write a paper service and published more than 20 articles in related spheres. He is ready to share the best tips with colleagues and parents to combat this issue together.