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Carla Grobler

Arbeidsterapeut

Occupational Therapist

Pr No. 0660000080136

 10 Starling Street/Straat                                                                                                                   084 581 0644         Phalaborwa                                                                                                            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Why do some children struggle with concentration?

 

Concentration difficulties may be due to the following factors:

  • Tiredness
  • Hunger
  • Emotional components(maybe something happened that upset the child)
  • Hyperactivity
  • Distracted by internal (thoughts / ideas) or external (sounds / movement) stimuli
  • Physical illness
  • Pain
  • Diet (some types of food causes bursts of energy e.g. sugar / preservatives / oily food, etc.)
  • Anxiety
  • Boredom
  • ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or ADD (attention deficit disorder
  • Etc.

 

 

Ideas to improve concentration

 

It is important to let the child concentrate actively (not watching TV / playing PSP). 

Start with a time that is according to the child’s current ability, increase the time with a few minutes every week.

 

  • Place items on a tray, allow the child to look at it for 15 seconds, cover the tray and ask the child to recall the items.  Start with 3 items and add items as the child’s ability improves).  Shorten the time the child looks at the objects as his ability improves. 
  • Play a memory game

Use picture-cards (2 of each picture).  Place the cards upside down on the carpet, each person gets an opportunity  to turn 2 card. The aim of the game is to find two cards that are the same, return the cards to the face-down position if not the same.

  • Mazes (booklets available in CNA/Spar/Google)
  • Dot-to-dot tasks(booklets available in CNA/Spar/Google)
  • Sudoku (booklets available in CNA/Spar/Google)
  • Find the differences between 2 pictures (booklets available in CNA/Spar/Google)
  • You say numbers / words and the child must repeat it (start with 2 numbers and progress to more numbers)
  • Tell a story and ask the child questions about it
  • Tell a story and the child must re-tell the story
  • Word puzzles
  • Word sums
  • You count and the child must say the number that you intentionally skipped (count in 2’s, 3’s, 4’s etc. for older kids)
  • Find a certain letter on a page (give the child a paragraph and tell him to circle e.g. the letter a)
  • Let the child build a puzzle without providing her with the picture  (show the completed picture to the child for 1 minute, then take it away and let the child build the puzzle).
  • Build words with letters, let the child have a look, child looks away, you take 1 letter from the word and the child must say which letter.
  • You say a word and the child must call out the opposite
  • Let the child repeat tongue twisters

E.g.  She sells sea shells by the sea shore
        Rubber baby buggy bumpers
        Betty bought a bit of bitter butter

  • Due to poor concentration kids usually don’t finish tasks in time;  time your child’s tasks / activities and reduce the time limit set as the child’s concentration span increases.
  • Place coins / blocks / objects in a certain sequence, let the child look at the objects for 5 seconds, close the objects and let the child copy it

 

Other guidelines

  • Set a structures routine at home;  children with concentration difficulties function better in a set routine environment
  • The place where your child does his homework and / or studies should be free of distraction - some kids find it easier to study when reading out loud
  • Let your child takes short breaks while studying – do not study for more than 45minutes at a time without a break
  • Be patient with your child

 

Hosea 12:2 - "The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him."

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