For Young Children With Autism Directing Attention Boosts Language
NIH-supported study confirms that pointing, gestures to focus attention improve later language.
An intervention in which adults actively engaged the attention of preschool children with autism by pointing to toys and using other gestures to focus their attention results in a long term increase in language skills, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health.
At age 8, children with autism who received therapy centered on sharing attention and play when they were 3 or 4 years old had stronger vocabularies and more advanced language skills than did children who received standard therapy. All of the children in the study attended preschool for 30 hours each week.
Some studies have indicated that such pre-verbal interactions provide the foundation for building later language skills, said Alice Kau, Ph.D., of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development , the NIH institute that supported the study.This study confirms that intensive therapy to engage the attention of young children with autism helps them acquire language faster and build lasting language skills.
First author Connie Kasari, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles , conducted the research with colleagues Amanda Gulsrud, Ph.D., Stephanny Freeman, Ph.D., Tanya Paparella, Ph.D., and Gerhard Hellemann, Ph.D.
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Set Up A Reward System
Rewards dont necessarily have to be tokens such as chocolates or toys.
They can also be in the form of praise or even further studying!
Says Anushka, mother of 7-year-old Mansi, My daughter loves to solve maths problems so as a reward for studying Hindi which she hates, I allow her to do a page of sums.
This is sure to help build and increase concentration, right?
Using Play To Increase Attention Tips And Tricks
1) Choose an activity that your child prefers this may seem obvious, but a child can focus longer if they like the task. Very often parents say, you think Johnny has attention issues in school? But he can play Legos or watch a video for hours at home! Yes, because he loves Legos. And watching a video isnt a challenge. Its different.
2) Limit the distractions in the environment Clear the area of other toys, turn off the TV or any music. Even simple background noise from a fan can be distracting for children with sensory sensitivities. In school, teachers find it helpful to use a Study Carrel to block out extraneous visual stimulation in the environment. This can be utilized at home for tabletop play with fine motor and visual motor toys such as legos, pegboards, or magna doodle.
3) Provide a structured task with a definite ending. Look, we are going to do this puzzle together. This way the child knows that the activity will come to an end. .
4) Make eye contact throughout the activity. Let your child know that you are playing, too.
5) Give clear one-step directions Find all the pieces with Olafs face on it
6) Give verbal and non-verbal cues for your child to keep their visual focus on the task at hand. Its easy to say, eyes on the puzzle. You can also simply point or tap the table where your child should be looking as a non-verbal cue. Some children respond better to non-verbal reminders.
Strategies For Getting Kids To Work With You
Cooperation can be a challenge for children with autism spectrum disorder under the best of circumstances. And in stressful situations when cooperation is often most important following instructions can get even harder.
Here are some tips to help parents of kids with autism increase cooperation while still respecting kids autonomy and keeping fights to a minimum.
Figure 2 Child With Back Support
The visual sequence contained facial expressions, objects and smiling faces. all presented in black and white, with the same size, 6 of each kind, thus totalising 18 figures, shown randomly. The pictures were not separated by an interstimulus interval and we analysed the fixations on the target area.
For the facial expressions, we used the Ekman faces called Emotions Revealed, a collection of fifteen photographs of facial expressions in black and white. We selected six expressions among the fifteen as fear, happiness, neutral, sadness, anger and disgust. The figures of objects used were umbrella, ball, ship, train, flower, cake. They were all recruited on internet and did not have copyright.
In order to exclude that external stimuli might interfere on the focus of attention evaluated, two boards were made: one MDF material with 60 cm x 60 cm each, with a cut 15 cm in height and 6 mm thickness on each board and one board of MDF with 60 cm length x 30 cm height, with two cuts 15 cm height and 6 mm thickness.
The boards were propped on the table where the eye tracking equipment was installed. The boards 60 cm x 60 cm were lateral while the board 60 cm x 30 cm was fixed above the lateral boards. They were placed between the desktop computer and monitor twenty-two inch.
Attention Autism Stage 2 The Attention Builder
This needs to be an activity that is great to watch and will hold the childs attention. This can be used to build on sequencing and vocabulary. You need to have all the items prepared before you do it with the child and in some cases may want to practice in advance. There are so many great attention builder ideas one of our favourites is the Flower Pot Rocket.
Attention Span: The Real Story
For children, the ability to concentrate on a task for an extended period of time is a very important skill to develop. Recently, attention-span persistence for a bunch of 4-year olds was studied, in which the parents told about their children staying hooked to one toy for hours as well as qualifying as frequent toy-hoppers. They also marked out similarities and dissimilarities between their respective children, which helped to estimate attention span for an individual child on a scale of 1 to 5.
These children were again tested as young adults of 21 years. The first test on attention span-persistence predicted individual capabilities in maths and reading and whether they will complete college by 25. The prediction was tallied to the current numbers and was found almost accurate.
This proves: Sustained attention over longer periods can improve behaviour, emotions and overall academic success.
Normal Attention Span Expectations By Age
“Pay attention!” “Focus!” “Just two more pages, then you can take a break.” Virtually all parents have tried pleading with their kids to get them to buckle down and focus. Kids have short attention spans, after all. But when do you know if your child’s inattention is an issue that needs to be addressed? Having age-appropriate expectations about attention spans is a good place to start.
What Is Attention Span
Attention span definition: Attention span is defined as the periods of time someone can focus on, concentrate or pay attention to a specific task or idea.
There are many stimuli such as digital tools and social media that distract us today. So, issues such as the average human attention span, the average attention span by age, and how to increase the attention span have become some of the main topics of improvement.
According to a study done by Microsoft back in 2013, the average human attention span was just 8 seconds. This is even shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. Although in the 2000s this number increased to 12 seconds, today scientists say it again shortens back to 8.25 seconds.
The low attention span affects our memory and learning power. Today, 25% of teenagers forget major details related to close friends and relatives. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, this situation is especially dangerous for children of learning age.
With MentalUP Attention Exercises Application, it is possible to increase your attention span with 15-minute daily exercises. Click to start the attention exercises now with fun exercises prepared by academicians and professional game designers.
How To Improve Attention Span
Attention-based learning disability is one of the most common disabilities in children. This is why elective classes such as Intelligence Games are added to the curriculum in many schools by the National Education Centers . For instance, many private schools use MentalUP Educational Games in order to support the improvement of the attention span of students.
Divide Bigger Tasks Into Smaller Tasks
Studying an entire chapter in one go is quite difficult for a child. It always helps to break it down into pages or even paragraphs so that the child feels a sense of accomplishment for finishing a small task and this will motivate him to continue on.
This is true not just for studies but for household chores as well. Nita, mother of 8-year-old Ankit says, I had been nagging Ankit to clean out his cupboard for weeks but he never got round to doing it.
Then I started breaking it down and Id tell him today you need to do the bottom shelf and sure enough, by the time I get back home in the evening, it would have been done!
Foot And Finger Fidgets
Some students always have to be doing something, whether theyre tapping their foot, pumping their leg or drumming their fingers. This kind of activity can be disruptive for classmates and the instructor, but necessary for the fidgety child to stay engaged.
Active seating can solve some of these issues, but it can be quite a drain on a classroom budget. Foot and finger fidgets can provide some of the same focus and calm as active seating at a more agreeable price. An exercise band around the legs of the chair can also be an option for kids with active feet. These items allow a student the foot or finger activity they crave so that they can pay attention in class in a less disruptive way.
How To Increase Attention Span For Better Performance
Although it is important to understand that treatment for short attention span varies as per underlying condition. For example, someone facing depression and short attention span may need to go for behavioral therapy and recommended medications.
Other than mental conditions, there are other ways to increase attention span.
1. Cut Down Screen Time
Even if you agree or disagree with it, research and facts state that your screen time can make you lose your focus very quickly. Accessing social media websites, online videos, and surfing could easily waste precious time. Moreover, we cannot forget to mention the constant notifications that pop up and take your attention away from work.
2. What Diverts You Must Remain Out Of The Way
Take a moment with yourself and realize what is it that diverts your attention. Is it your phone, your colleagues or any background noise like neighborhood construction? Is the room temperature bothering you or the cluttered desk space? Figure out the reasons for distraction and take a call to get away from it.
3. Dont Overstress; Take Breaks
4. DO NOT Multitask
5. Sleep Well
If you havent had a good sleep for a few days, it is likely that you are facing a low attention span. In order to have an improved attention, try best yoga poses an hour before sleeping, herbal trees for stress removal and the technique of 10, 60 and 120. It is also true that too much sleep can make you feel sluggish, so better avoid the extremes.
6. Try Timeboxing Method
Statement Of The Problem
This study aimed to determine whether an origami intervention program added to the typical special education program would lead to increased levels of attention and impulse control among CWA.
Specifically, the study sought answers to the following questions:
1. Is the origami instructional manual appropriate and valid based on the evaluation of selected experts?
2. What are the levels of inattention and impulsivity of the experimental group before the origami intervention program?
3. What are the levels of inattention and impulsivity of the control group before their typical special education program?
4. What are the levels of inattention and impulsivity of the experimental group after the origami intervention program?
5. What are the levels of inattention and impulsivity of the control group after their typical special education program?
6. Is there a significant difference between the pre-test and the post-test scores of the experimental group?
7. Is there a significant difference between the pre-test and the post-test scores of the control group?
8. Is there a significant difference between the post-test scores of the experimental and the control groups on the attention scale?
9. Is there a significant difference between the post-test scores of the experimental and the control groups on the impulse control scale?
Attention Deficit And Concentration In Autism
Attention deficit in children with autism is one of the most common symptoms. In a child without autism, the sensation of concentration starts to develop in 0-2 months. Even in this short period, it can be observed that the baby smiles at a toy or the person looking at her. In addition, the feelings of movement also develop. If she expects something, she may smile to her approaching parent and begin to show her reaction with certain movements. During the 6th and 7th months babys relieving feelings develop and it gets easier to stay next to someone new. The above-mentioned developments are observed in a baby during his/her normal developmental process.
Use A Phone Or Tablet To Help Keep Focus
With the AutiPlan app you can utilize a modern aid like mobiles phone or tablets to help keep focus on activities and tasks in the daily routine.
How does this work?
With our online planning tool you can create a clear visual schedule for each day. This schedule is than automatically synchronized to the mobile phone or tablet of the child or adult with autism.
The app helps keep focus by:
- Using alarm notifications when a task should start
- Keep reminding to complete the task
- Provide a countdown timer to help complete the task in time
- Use speech to attract and keep focus on a task
- Let the child or adult check off completed tasks, thus keeping overview
We know the AutiPlan app already helps lot of children and adults keeping focus and through their daily routine, so why no test it for yourself?
Try it out, you can simply install the app on a Android phone or tablet from the . You can test it for free without any obligations!
How to get started:
#8 Planned And Conscious Use Of Technology
New technologies can provide excellent learning opportunities. However, prolonged, indiscriminate use of technology and screen time have been shown to affect memory, attention, and sleep cycles. Some studies have suggested that prolonged use of the Internet is contributing to short attention spans and poor memory.
On the other hand, one can harness the potential of technology to improve attention and memory by giving access to memory games, jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and brain training games. Mobile phones and computers can also be used to set reminders, alert usage, and monitor a childs screen time to their benefit.
Attention Autism Stage 3 The Interactive Game
This is where the child is to take a turn. It can be a turn of the activity they have just seen in stage two. As the childs skills develop you can increase the length of the activity and complexity of the steps. A simply way to increase the flower pot rocket is to use a spray bottle filled with food colouring. You add in a step where this is sprayed onto the foam. It is important that the child learns to take their turn when asked. Also to see other children taking their turns.
Eliminate Hunger And Fatigue
Parents should also be aware if something is getting in the way of a child paying attention. Are they hungry or tired? To combat hunger or fatigue, give them a snack before they start homework or any structured task. Make sure the snack is a healthy one, rather than one loaded with sugar and fat. Smart choices include whole-grain pretzels, raw veggies dipped in fat-free dressing or hummus, yogurt, and peanut butter spread on a banana or apple. A good night’s sleep is important as well, so make sure your child is getting enough rest. And many kids need a little break when they come home from school. “Everyone needs downtime. It helps us to come back and focus. If kids don’t have downtime and they’re over-scheduled, they may plead for downtime through their behavior,” Dr. Rojas says.
Parents Have Noticed Improvements With Mendability
- Better focus on class work
- Complete assignments and homework
Everything you need to do the exercises at home
People from all walks of life are excited about what Mendability is doing to help their children overcome the symptoms of autism
Hes socializing better with other kids and has better focus.
Rich K. parent of 9-year-old boy
We have seen progress in our daughter, she so interested in knowing about people and she is more engaged in conversations. These exercises have been challenging but she loves them.
K.A. parent of a 13-year-old-girl
He definitely seems to be following instructions better across the board and is just a little more aware of the world around him.
Sara J. parent of 4 year old boy
Mendability is working unbelievably well! My daughter is mastering targets at school and can now sit for 30 minutes at dinner. Having her be able to sit 30 minutes for meals was supposed to be her 6 month goal! She mastered it in 6 weeks!
Kate H. parent of a 3-year-old-girl
I went to the library where we spent about 2 hours, and both of the girls were happily reading while staying in their seats. In our prior visits, the oldest one just roamed and ran around the library while I chased her. This time, I was pleasantly surprised by how long my oldest daughter sat and stayed focus on reading. This has never happened before!
Everything you need to do the exercises at home
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Inattentive Behaviors In Kids
Understanding that attention and executive functioning skills are connected can be a helpful starting point in addressing the areas that play into a childs inattentiveness. In fact what adds to a childs inattentive behavior can be a variety of needs, from sensory processing components to executive functioning issues.
Addressing areas such as impulse control, problem solving, distractibility, self-regulation, and delayed gratification can be tools to address habits and mindset behind inattentive types of behaviors.
Spice Up Mundane Tasks
Because many children struggle to focus on tasks they don’t want to dosuch as the structured, repetitive ones kids encounter when they enter schoolyou can help make a dull activity more fun by using a little creativity. For example, try asking your child to form the letter S using rocks, toy cars, or wooden blocks rather than writing with a pencil on paper. Kids can also practice drawing letters with chalk, shaping letters out of Play-Doh, or even tracing a letter’s form with paint on a big easel to make the experience more engaging.
What Can Be Done To Increase Attention Span Of Your Child
1. Identify the time of the day when your child is at his best in terms of mood, activity level and free from the influence of medications. Some children are active in the morning while others may be active in the night as late as 11 pm. This is the best time to teach them.
2. Establish a Routine. Routine is the most basic way of understanding for the child, despite many challenges the child may have. Example of a routine: Wear uniform while going to school in the morning. Doesnt your child recognize when you are going out when he sees that you have changed your clothes or worn your footwear Doesnt your child run to watch his favorite Ad in TV or waits for his brother to return from school? These are instances which tell us that the child understands routine.
A routine is a combination of time, activity and place that happens again and again and is fixed.
This means that bed is only for sleeping in the night, jumping on the bed is not allowed. When a routine is established, the child knows why he is there in a particular place and what is expected of him just like we know what to do when we go to a library compared to a cinema theatre.
Do our children know when the task will get over? The answer is a big NOOOO given the limitations, they have with language, comprehension, and motivation. How can we expect their co-operation when they dont know when a particular task or a particular visit is going to end?
Piggy Bank with tokens
#6 Diet And Hydration
Eating regularly throughout the day helps in improving attention, possibly by maintaining steady levels of glucose and energy. There are several studies that have shown that artificial colourings and preservatives, such as sodium benzoate can cause a small but significant increase in childrens hyperactivity. Therefore, minimising major sources of artificial colouring and additives would help.
A study published in PLoS One in 2019, showed that increasing the quantity of water drank improved educational outcomes through the effect of hydration on attention, concentration, and short-term memory. Other studies have shown that dehydration of 2% or more body mass loss can increase the perception of fatigue, induce impairment in cognitive functions such as memory and attention. Therefore, eating at regular intervals throughout the day and not skipping meals, and staying well hydrated improve attention and concentration.
Games To Boost Attention In Kids
Games are some of the most powerful tools to improve concentration, and they also develop childrens various mental skills. Therefore, special emphasis is placed on games in this article. Surely, there are several other techniques to improve concentration, and they are not only limited to games.
#11 Seek Professional Help
All the above strategies should help address attention difficulties and reduce easy distractibility in a child. However, should the above-mentioned non-medical measures fail to address your childs attention difficulties fully, then you should seek professional help. Medical conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , learning disability, developmental delays, vision, or hearing impairment can be the underlying cause of the childs attention difficulties. A neurodevelopmental paediatrician will be able to assess and manage these conditions.
Medical conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , learning disability, developmental delays, vision, or hearing impairment can be the underlying cause of the childs attention difficulties. These difficulties and much more can be found out after undertaking a detailed neurodevelopmental assessment. You can find out more about neurodevelopmental assessments in my blog 10 aspects of a neurodevelopmental assessment.
As you can see from the above, attention is the first and crucial step in a childs learning, memory, and cognition. Therefore, we do not have the luxury not to pay our attention to addressing inattention in children. The above mentioned non-medical, but well-proven strategies can be effective in promoting attention and concentration in any given child. Having correct focus and attention can help a child to realise their potential and achieve fulfilment and happiness.
Two Sides To The Story
When we are talking about attention span, 2 different aspects need to be considered:
The third factor if you want to consider and sensibly, you must is time. It is of little use if focus cant be maintained for as long as it is wanted. How long can you concentrate on a task before you are distracted? Sustaining attention through repetitive and boring jobs is where you earn your credits. Is there a way to measure this time-based attention span? Seems there are.
Average attention span of typically developing children.
Whats Short Attention Span
People with short attention spans can easily break up and have trouble focusing on tasks for a certain length of time. There may be a large number of psychological and physical reasons for a person’s short attention span. The following can be listed as examples of some of the possible causes of short attention span;