Children/young people’s ability to concentrate and focus develops as they grow older. It is different for all children/young people. Some children/young people will have a particular difficulty with paying attention, with impulsiveness and/or with hyperactivity, more so than their friends. Sometimes this is called Attention – Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder or AD/HD.
Children/young people with AD/HD difficulties may:
- seem not to listen to what is being said;
- have trouble organising themselves;
- get easily distracted;
- get out of their seat and/or run around;
- have trouble waiting and taking turns.
These problems can be linked with behavioural and social difficulties.
How will school help?
Schools can help by:
- positively reinforcing good behaviour;
- maintaining a calm atmosphere;
- making sure reprimands and redirection are about the task;
- being respectful of a child’s self esteem;
- breaking down tasks and instructions to small steps;
- teaching and supporting organisational skills;
- offering a choice of rewards.
Children, young people, parents or carers should speak to the school initially if they have any questions about the learner’s ability to concentrate or focus.
Children and young people will be supported in different ways according to their needs within the classroom. They may need to work in small groups, sometimes with a teaching assistant to support needs or help identify need. Some children and young people who require additional support will be identified as having additional learning needs through a decision-making process.
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