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I have a child who is easily distracted. How can I help him focus more?

(10 Posts)
DayKay Wed 08-Nov-17 06:40:53

He seems to be distracted in lessons and often doesn’t answer questions correctly because he hasn’t read the question properly.
He says he finds it hard to concentrate. How can I help him?

CauliflowerSqueeze Wed 08-Nov-17 06:49:05

A few things.
Firstly if you think it’s a medical thing and could be ADHD then you could get him assessed.
Also, there could be some visual perception difficulty and he may benefit from using coloured paper or an overlay? Again this needs assessing. It could be the words are jumping around a bit.

Secondly quite a bit of research is showing that children who use their mobile phones and play a lot of video games are being conditioned to have lots of excitement in quick succession. School isn’t like that and so working in a classroom can be hard. Remove the phone and games for a period?

Practically you could get him to help you with things that need instructions such as recipes or DIY. Or you could get him model kits of planes or things to try and put together. That would require concentration and a focus on the detail of the explanation.

Worldsworstcook Wed 08-Nov-17 07:00:36

Our ds has asd and add as opposed to ADHD. He's very easily distracted in class but not hyper. What he finds difficult is the complexity of questions. There are often multiple parts to a question - why did the boy cross the road and where was he going? DS processes the first part but not the second. It was the school brought it to our attention when he was 7 - we asked him to get us a glass, a spoon and put the spoon in the glass. He couldn't do it! How we/school have managed it since is removing double instructions from our requests or at least making sure we have his FULL attention before giving more than one instruction at a time., another thing he can get if he's too easily distracted is a privacy board which sits on his desk and acts like blinkers screening the distracting classroom from his vision.,they work well.

DayKay Wed 08-Nov-17 07:53:30

Thank you for your responses.
I don’t think he has adhd or add. He’s in secondary school and we haven’t really had any concerns til now.
He has been sneaking on his phone a bit too much in the evenings so I’ll put a stop to that. Thanks for the ideas.
Worldsworstcook He does have issues with 2 part questions though but I suspect it’s more to do with him not concentrating properly and just trying to rush through. I really appreciate you bringing that to my attention. I’m wondering if rewriting the question (in brief) himself as 2 questions would help him.
We ve spoken about him interacting with friends in class and how he needs to stop that and focus on what his teacher is saying.

noblegiraffe Wed 08-Nov-17 08:11:09

If he's pissing about and it's a behaviour issue, then you could ask teachers to amend their seating plans to move him to the front or away from his mates.

Not answering a question fully, or missing out some detail is fairly common - can he train himself to read the question twice, then answer it, then go back to the question and check that he has actually answered it? Some students use highlighters or underline key parts of the question as they read although that depends on them being able to write on the question paper.

beautifulgirls Wed 08-Nov-17 22:14:08

Please read up about inattentive ADHD - it doesn't mean climbing the walls or being hyperactive, it's not the stereotypic ADHD that people think of at all. Don't rule it out until you know everything about it. I have a DD with it and she's the model of good polite behaviour but she's an expert at self distraction and not being able to start her work let alone get it finished without support. She's also quite bright so she muddles through without the staff getting too upset with the lack of written work from her much of the time. Medication has helped her a lot though.

Wimbles101 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:50:42

It sounds like he has ADD tbh. It is often missed in children who are not hyper.
My DS was only diagnosed last year privately as the school didn’t pick up on it as he’s well behaved and is bright. However having just done the 11plus with him your story sounds very familiar - he cannot do anything involving multiple stages.
Now he has the diagnosis we have been given drugs which I very rarely give - only for exams etc. But it’s really good to have the diagnosis because teacher sit him at the front where he can’t be distracted.
I would say it’s worth looking into with your DS. You would be surprised how common it is nowadays. Having this diagnosis could make all the difference in important exams as extra provision can be made.

Wimbles101 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:52:58

PS - ADD children are often bright.
PPS - my son is nearly 12

DayKay Fri 10-Nov-17 09:54:55

I’ve had a chat with him and with his school. We ve discussed ways that might help him become more focussed and he’s made a start. He’s realised the importance of it and the seriousness, as I have contacted the school.
I’ll see how he progresses and how he gets on with questions with more than one part.
Thanks.

Celeriacacaca Mon 13-Nov-17 20:56:13

Please get him assessed for ADD. My DS, 16, has just been diagnosed and it has been the best thing in terms of getting him the help he needs. It has also helped his confidence as he knows what it is now. It was a long process (13 months) so even if it turns out to be incorrect, you can eliminate it as a cause.

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