Stowell Learning Center

3 Reasons Why Your Child’s Attention Problem Might NOT Be ADHD (Part 1)

 “Your child just can’t seem to pay attention in class.  It could be ADHD.”

 Yes. It could be ADHD, but did you know that there are many other reasons why kids struggle to pay attention in class and when doing homework?  At Stowell Learning Center, the vast majority of our students have attention challenges, but only a very small minority actually have ADHD.

 3 students. One common story.

 Jeremy wiggles constantly in his chair. It keeps him from getting his work done and is very distracting to the students sitting near him.

Manny talks to his neighbors all the time instead of doing his work. He’s always interested in what everyone else is doing, but he can’t seem to pay attention to his own work.

Sara tries really hard to be “good.” She sits up tall and looks right at the teacher. But pretty soon, she’s fiddling with things on her desk or staring straight through the teacher. When it’s time to start working, Sara always has to ask, “What were we supposed to do?”

Sound Familiar?  These students, their parents, their teachers, and maybe even some of their classmates are frustrated by their attention problems, but not one of them has ADHD!

 If Not ADHD, then what?

Good attention and successful, easy learning depend upon a solid foundation of underlying learning skills. These skills include the following:

 Core Learning Skills: These are basic visual and motor skills that help children develop a sense of self, internal organization, and body and attention awareness and control.

Processing Skills: These are skills such as attention, memory, auditory and visual processing (how we think about and understand things that we see or hear), processing speed, language comprehension, and phonemic awareness (the thinking process critical to reading that supports learning and using phonics).

Executive Function: This is our personal manager that guides and directs our attention and behavior. It helps us reason, problem solve, organize, and make decisions.

Poor attention in class may be a symptom, not the real problem.
If a child has problems with any of the underlying learning skills, his attention system will also be stressed. While attention may become a problem in school or with homework, it may not actually be the real problem. 



What’s really going on with Jeremy, Manny, and Sara?
What could be causing your child’s attention problem?

 Visit our blog next week for answers!

Here’s the great news:  The weak or inefficient underlying learning/processing skills can be developed.  Addressing the root cause of the poor attention symptom can eliminate the problem.

P.S.  If you are interested in really understanding what it feels like to have a learning or attention challenge, join us for our upcoming simulations. 

▪   Attention Challenges Simulation – April 13, 2013 – Irvine, CA

▪   Dyslexia Simulation – April 20, 2013 – Chino, CA

Go to www.learningdisability.com for info and RSVP

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