Supporting Children with Attention Difficulties
As a speech therapy practice in Nottingham, Speech Right is often asked by parents and teachers, how they can support children with attention difficulties. So, with 10 plus years as a speech therapist in Nottingham, I have written some of my key strategies/ideas for helping children with attention difficulties below;
- Say the child’s name before speaking to them. This will help the child to focus their attention.
- Encourage the child to “look and listen.” Get the child to stop the task that they are doing and look at the speaker.
- Get down to the child’s level when speaking to them. It will be much easier for them to attend to what you are saying, if you are closer to them.
- Speak slowly and clearly. The child will then be able to focus on each word that is being said.
- Support your spoken utterances visually e.g. gesture/use objects/use pictures/use symbols/use Makaton signs for key words in the utterance. The child will then both hear and see the utterance which will help to gain and maintain their attention.
If you would like advice on how to use Signs and Symbols with your child/in your classroom, please feel free to contact Speech Right and one of our speech therapists in Nottingham will be happy to help.
- Talk at the child’s level of understanding. Try to use the same length of utterance as the child is using. If the child is not able to understand what is being said, their attention will be lost.
- Make use of visual timetables and set routines. The child will then understand what is going to happen which will mean they can then focus their attention on the activities.
Again, if you would like advice on using and making visual timetables, feel free to contact Speech Right and one of our speech therapists in Nottingham will be happy to help.
- Use short activities which have an obvious ‘start’ and ‘finish.’ This will make it clear to the child where and for how long they need to attend for.
Try to use these strategies at home/nursery/school to support children’s attention skills. The speech therapists at Nottingham’s Speech Right can offer further advice/strategies/activities if you still have concerns about your child’s attention skills.