Autistic children face many challenges that hinders them from being able to do certain things. One of those challenges is their lack of attention and concentration. Their inability to pay attention long enough to learn how to write or learn how to do their buttons. There are various reasons for this. One of those reason is that the brain interprets the stimulus differently and due to this, they react to it in a different way. The slightest sound or movement from other sources can distract them from what they are doing.
I am very familiar with different types of autism in children. I perform different strategies to improve or increase their attention and concentration. I also communicate with parents and assist them in engaging in different activities and games to continue at home. As a therapist, I wish for parents to remain involved and be part of their children’s treatment. Consistency, routine and follow-through at home is very important and is highly beneficial for the child.
Most people think that “attention exercises and games” are boring. A common misconception is that it is ok not to do these “exercises or games” at home. In the contrary, repetition and consistency is needed for better outcomes.
There are a lot of fun, great games and strategies to improve attention and concentration that you can do at home that is not “boring”, and will in turn help your child.
- Bouncing on a ball that is large enough will help them focus and enjoy an activity even more. They can do this while doing something on the table such as writing or doing buttons. This gives them feedback that their body crave for. It turns a “boring” writing activity to fun.
- Timing the activity and having break periods in between will help both you and your child. If a child can only focus for 5 minutes, start by doing the activity for only 5 minutes. Then let your child run, or bounce or spin for 10 to 15 minutes, then go back to that activity, but this time increase it to 6 minutes. If the child is unable to focus for 6 minutes, you can revert back to 5 minutes, then allow for a break again. Do this until he finishes the activity. You have to remember, don’t increase the number of minutes too fast too soon. A little at a time is ok. You don’t want your child to get frustrated and start to shut down.
- Blowing and popping bubbles is another fun activity that both of you can do that will help your child focus. Both of you can blow the bubbles and your child can chase and pop them with their fingers or clap their hands to catch them. It will not only improve their attention, but also help with their coordination.
- Exercise with your child. Doing them together will help you understand your child more, and your child will increase his/her core strength, helping them to feel more secure and improve their attention.
- Singing is another good approach. It captures their attention while learning. Singing the letters of his/her name while writing it increases the child’s ability to write them. You can also sing simple instructions for him/her to follow.
Of course, not all kids respond the same way. Since I do not know the specifics of your child’s condition, the above strategies may or may not work for them. The best way to fix the attention and concentration problem is to fix the fault lines, which are the imbalances in the child’s body.
If you require a more individualized treatment and a more permanent solution to your child’s difficulties, you can call me at (718) 285-0884 for a free consultation.