Attention/Concentration Difficulties

May be distracted easily, this may be due to noise, other people, lighting etc.

 

  1. Environmental Profile – Take notes to figure out what may be causing distraction and modify the physical environment if appropriate.

  2. Keep distractions to a minimum i.e. low level lighting, noise kept to a minimum.

  3. Sensory Profile – Take notes to give full picture of sensory needs and adapt environment to suit if appropriate.

  4. Move closer to the front of the classroom if appropriate.

  5. Work in smaller group or move to a smaller/quieter area if appropriate.

  6. Play white noise if appropriate.

  7. Use fidget toys if appropriate.

  8. See Sensory sections for additional advice.

 

May struggle to filter sensory information which can be distracting i.e. noise, smells, texture of clothing.

 

  1. Environmental Profile – Take notes to figure out what may be causing distraction and modify the physical environment if appropriate.

  2. Keep distractions to a minimum i.e. low level lighting, noise kept to a minimum.

  3. Sensory Profile – Take notes to give full picture of sensory needs and adapt environment to suit if appropriate.

  4. Move closer to the front of the classroom if appropriate.

  5. Work in smaller group or move to a smaller/quieter area if appropriate.

  6. Play white noise if appropriate.

  7. See Sensory sections for additional advice.

 

May focus all attention on obsessive interests.

 

  1. Incorporate obsessive interests into work/learning/tasks.

  2. Add time into schedule to discuss/talk about obsessive interests.

  3. Use obsessive interest as a reward for task completion.

 

May not realise he/she is included when talking to the whole group.

 

  1. Mention the individual's name in group situations.

May have little understanding or the task may be beyond his/her ability.

 

  1. Check understanding of task is at the appropriate level and adapt if necessary.

  2. Give information, repeat and then ask for them to repeat it to check their understanding.

 

May concentrate on small details instead of the bigger picture.

 

  1. Ensure tasks are ‘to the point’ with only necessary information given.

  2. Break down the task/situation into smaller parts and talk through each part i.e. where it happened, who was there, what happened, how it happened, people, feelings and thoughts etc.

 

May struggle to shift attention and may get stuck on one task.

 

  1. Use ‘Now’ and ‘Next’ to help stay on task.

  2. Use lists to prioritise tasks.

  3. Use visual schedules to break tasks down into smaller steps.

  4. Use timers/bell/alarm to indicate when a task is over.

 

May struggle to know which details are important and need focus.

 

  1. Colour code tasks to show priorities using trays/files/post it notes.

  2. Use lists to prioritise tasks.

  3. Ensure tasks are ‘to the point’ with only necessary information given.

 

May struggle to filter out non-important information.

 

  1. Ensure tasks are ‘to the point’ with only necessary information given.

 

May use a lot of energy processing tasks and become overwhelmed or have little energy.

 

  1. May need to back off, lower demands, lower stimulation, allow time to process, lower voice, move to safe space.

  2. Small bursts of work and then reward.

  3. May need to add regular breaks/sensory breaks into schedules.

 

May use self stimulating behaviour, cover ears, shut down when overwhelmed.

 

  1. See Self-stimulatory Behaviour section for advice.

  2. See Coping Techniques section for advice.

Self stimulating/repetitive behaviour may cause distraction.

 

  1. See Self-stimulatory Behaviour section for advice.

 

Diet may affect concentration.

 

  1. May need regular snacks to enable concentration.

 

Stress/Anxiety may affect concentration.

 

  1. See Anxiety section for advice.

 

Sleep problems/lack of sleep may affect concentration.

 

  1. See Sleep section for advice.

Contact us:
SHINE for Autism is a registered CIO - Charity number 1185018
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