Improve your child’s attention, memory and confidence in fifteen weeks or less
Attention, memory and executive functioning are the building blocks for learning. The most common reason children struggle academically is because of weak attention, memory or focus problems. Many times, these symptoms might look like ADHD, and lead teachers and parents to get their children medicated.
Although ADHD is very real, it is also over-diagnosed. These underlying cognitive skills help your child understand, retain and apply the information learned in school.
When attention skills and memory skills are not well developed, even the smartest students can struggle listening to important information, finishing their class work and homework, and holding a thought long enough to carry a meaningful conversation.
Attention and memory are dependent on each other when processing information, and a weakness in either one can strongly impact your child’s learning.
What does an attention problem look like?
As a parent, you are surely aware when your child is struggling, but those struggles might also be mistaken for true ADHD, laziness or just plain behavior problems. These are some typical warning signs that your child has difficulties with attention:
- Poor study or work habits
- Fidgets or squirms excessively
- Constantly interrupts in class or in conversations
- Is careless
- Has difficulty maintaining attention
- Has difficulty organizing activities
- Gets up from his/her seat in class
- Takes too long to finish assignments
- Fails to hand in homework or classwork
- Answers questions before they are completed
- Gets distracted by noise or other conversations
- Has difficulty waiting for his/her turn
- Constantly has to be moving
It is important for you as a parent to realize your child is probably not doing these things on purpose. Kids who show these signs don’t yet have the ability to tell the difference between paying attention and losing attention.
These symptoms occur when a child has weak underlying processing skills and cannot intentionally control attention. They are not being lazy or silly. Actually most of the students we work with say that if they could pay attention, they would. They so badly want to be successful in class, and try very hard, but paying attention is such a difficult task when they don’t have the proper tools.
Three Types of Attention
There are 3 different types of attention which affect learning:
1. Sustained attention
Commonly known as attention span, the ability to focus on a task for a sustained amount of time. Students with weak sustained attention skills typically drift from one activity to another without completing it.
2. Selective attention
The ability to maintain focus on a task despite competing distractions. A typical student with weak selective attention can have a hard time studying or carrying a conversation when there is competing noise or another conversation in the surrounding area.
3. Divided attention
What we know as multi-tasking allows us to pay attention to more than one thing at a time, even as new information is coming in. As a parent, you may have excellent divided attention skills if you can drive, answer your 3-year-old’s never ending “why” questions, and set the DVD for the kids in the back seat. For a child who struggles with divided attention, she has a very difficult time taking good notes and following multi-step instructions.
Although some of these skills might come naturally to your child, others have to be trained.
Is it ADHD?
Unfortunately, there has been a growing trend of children getting diagnosed with ADHD. Although some children do present chemical imbalances that can be considered ADHD, this label tends to be thrown around much too easily. In most cases, difficulties in attention and hyperactivity are actually symptoms of other learning challenges rather than the cause.
Is medication the right answer?
ADHD Medication should never be the first answer, and is usually not the solution to an attention problem. For most kids, these drugs can take a toll on their system, and they only treat the symptoms rather than the cause. For drugs like Ritalin, a cocaine-based drug, there are up to 25 known side effects including anxiety, weight loss, hair loss, nausea, headaches and growth interruptions.
For some students, medication is helpful and in some cases even necessary, but they only work as long as your child is taking them. As soon as she stops taking the pill, the symptoms come back. So if you do opt for giving your child ADHD medication, it should be used sparingly and as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes diet, daily structure and attention training.
Fixing an Attention Problem
The good news is that attention and memory skills can be improved through specific and intensive training. The key to controlling attention is to realize how it feels to be focused, and how it feels NOT to be focused. By teaching the brain what it feels like, and through specialized training, your child can improve his sustained, selective and divided attention in 15 weeks or less.
Because every child is different, our clinically tested programs are customized for the individual student’s needs. Sessions are delivered by experienced, degreed specialists in a fun and caring 1-on-1 environment.
Our expertise is in eliminating the pain of your smart child being labeled as slow or lazy. Our 1-on-1 programs use advanced, research-based strategies that teachers don’t know and schools can’t teach. We’ve done this with thousands of students for over 40 years. We can help your child where nobody else has.