School’s Barely Started and He’s Already Distracted

With Back-to-School excitement waning and the reality of the new grade level expectations kicking in, struggling students are probably starting to become apparent.  The first and most obvious symptom of a learning challenge is poor attention.

This may cause worried parents wonder if their child has ADHD.

In our experience, attention challenges can mean many different things.

Foundation for Learning and Attention

Sitting in a chair, listening to the teacher, remembering and following directions, sticking with a reading or writing task through completion – these critical school skills, all require good attention.  And attention requires a solid foundation of underlying learning/processing skills.

We look at learning like a continuum, almost like a ladder, with academic skills at the top, supported by neurodevelopmental, processing, and executive function skills.  If any of these underlying skills are weak, students’ attention will be stressed as they try to compensate or work around their weaknesses.

What Do My Child’s Attention Challenges Mean?

Attention Symptoms May be Related to Retained Primitive Reflexes and Weak Core Learning Skills:

  • Wiggles constantly, seeming to have “ants in the pants”
  • Wanders around the classroom
  • Hums and makes distracting noises all of the time
  • Poor handwriting
  • Poor posture / low energy and focus

Lack of Focus May be Related to Weak Auditory Processing Skills

  • Daydreams or drifts in and out when listening
  • Loses concentration and comprehension when listening
  • Feels lost and anxious in class and conversations
  • Yawns incessantly when listening

“Careless” Work and Loss of Attention May be Related to Weak Visual Processing Skills

  • Avoids reading and writing
  • Doesn’t line up numbers in math
  • Low stamina for reading / becomes distracted or whiny quickly with written work
  • Rushes / “Just wants to get it done and doesn’t care if it’s right”

Neuroscience research tells us that through targeted and intensive training, the brain can be rewired to process information more effectively.  With a stronger foundation of underlying skills, we have consistently seen an increase in ease of learning and a reduction in attention symptoms for many, many students.

Do you or your child struggle with speaking, reading, learning, or attention?  These challenges can be changed.  While there are no simple, overnight solutions, most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected through developing the weak underlying skills and remediating the affected academic areas.  Need to know more??

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“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”
We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Jill Stowell, M.S.
Author:  At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities
Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers

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