ADHD and poor attention span go hand in hand. In fact, inattentiveness is one of the consistent symptoms of ADHD that is evident in all people who have it. So, our kids with ADHD naturally have trouble maintaining attention, especially if they don’t like the subject at hand.
The good news is that we can help them to extend their attention spans, but – it won’t happen overnight and it won’t happen without lots of input from us. Of course, if you are a parent with ADHD (as I am), you’ll have to fight your own attention battles, and you might want to try these activities yourself so you can be consistent with them. 🙂
If you’d like to help your children learn to focus for longer periods, try these suggestions about how to increase attention span in your kids with ADHD!
How to Increase Attention Span for Kids with ADHD
Encourage them to take notes.
One of the things we’ve done with our kids is to encourage them to take notes whenever they have to listen for an extended period of time. We attend meetings at an American Sign Language congregation, which is completely silent. As you can imagine, getting them to sit down and pay attention was a challenge. 🙂
Letting them take notes helped a ton. We don’t require that they write the entire time, either. Sometimes they draw pictures of what they see, which is actually a big help in understanding ASL.
Personally, I’m a visual learner, so when I take notes I use bullet points, multi-colored pens, and arrows to draw my attention to specific items. Mixing things up like that can also make it easier to pay attention.
Stimulate their senses.
We can also help our kids to pay attention longer by involving as many of their senses as possible. If you’re teaching a lesson in your homeschool, use bright pictures, upbeat music, and movement whenever you can. These additions can make your lessons more interesting, which will help your kids maintain focus.
If you have children with sensory integration issues, these kinds of activities are even more important. We’ll talk more about sensory issues in tomorrow’s post.
Use timed focus sessions.
You can also make paying attention into a mini-challenge. Establish special “focus periods” – short, intense periods when the kids will pay attention to a topic as closely as they can. Start with a few minutes, 2 to 5, and then gradually increase them based on age level.
You might even want to add an incentive for each milestone they reach. For example, if they can pay attention to a lesson for 10 minutes and show it by remembering three key points, they get an extra 10 minutes of screen time.
Have you been able to help your kids with ADHD increase attention span? Share your secrets in the comments!
This post is part of the 31 Days of ADHD Homeschooling series! Stop by tomorrow for Day 28: When ADHD and SPD Collide!
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