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Concentration issues....

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by shreyashreyas, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. shreyashreyas

    shreyashreyas Gold IL'ite

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    My six year old daughter has concentration issues. she never actually concentrates. She gets diverted very easily. or else start looking at my son's book or do something but not concentrate.. how to avoid this and help her.

    Both are studying I std. While he does three pages, my daughter will finish only one page because of this, there is a backlog
     
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  2. teacher

    teacher Platinum IL'ite

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    Questions for you:
    • Do the 2 kids sit together in the same area to complete their work?
    • How long is their study period?
    • What time do they start-is it right after they return from school or do they have a break for some play time?
    • Is your daughter's difficulty only while completing hw or is this seen at school as well?
    • I assume they are twins...are they in the same classroom?
    If this is a problem only for homestudy periods...give them separate study areas so she doesn't compare herself to her brother's habits... she maybe getting overwhelmed by looking at how much he completes (even if you aren't bringing it to her attention).

    Always give an hour's break after returning from school-let them both engage in active physical play before sitting down to study. This is crucial.

    Chunk her workload...if she sees that she has to complete three different things it may seem like too much for her (even if your son can do the same without any difficulty...they are different individuals with different abilitites and strengths).

    You can help her get ready to do the first chunk-"What do you have to do in Math? You have page 3 and page 4. OK, complete these two pages and then you can take a break."

    Giving very explicit directions makes your expectations very clear (rather than 'do your math h.w.') and you have also informed her in advance when she can take a break.

    Once she finishes the first part of her hw., let her take a 5 minute break..do not give in to her requests for TV or computer games (if she asks for these). These activities do not end in 5 minutes and she will not get back to work after that. Then let her do the second part of her hw...with another break after completing.

    Remember if a single assignment is very long, break that up..'work on some now and you can complete the rest after dinner...'

    You can also put some thought into small rewarding activities which will be good motivators-to complete tasks on time. Or you can use a kitchen timer or a stop clock to say "complete this page before the time runs out."

    If it is impacting her school work as well talk to the teacher to see if there is a pattern..is she more focused in the morning, after lunch, after PE, etc? If they are twins, it is better for both of them not be in the same classroom...so there are no comparisons even unwittingly.

    For concentration issues, the most that can be done is modifying the environment and teaching the student how to start on time, pace herself and complete on time. If the problems persist, then there are options like assignment modification, and other accommodations.
     
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  3. Soumedh

    Soumedh Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Sandhya,
    Are they twins?She is still very young and all children behave differently so take it easy.
    Create a healthy competition among them..start rewarding who ever complete writing fast..:)
    Just check around the things that distract her..may be her toys,phone calls,her friends etc..
    Try to avoid those things during study hour.Slowly but firmly motivate her to sit in one place during her study time..by practice and with time her concentration will surely improve,dont worry.
    Rgds
     
  4. orion80

    orion80 Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi Sandhya,

    Even my daughter has this problem. She cannot continuosly study for 10 mins straight. I tried giving her one lesson to complete everyday but she looked so dull during that time and she also used to finish it just for the heck of it instead of learning something.

    So i started following a routine for her. She has to study for one hour everyday and during that time i make sure that there are no distractions. That one hour i sit with her and teach her. She learns quickly by examples. So i teach her her lessons using examples. While solving maths problems, we both get 2 question papers and we see who does it faster. I let her win many times but i also win a few times to give a reality check to her :)

    Nowadays, one day during the week i am sitting with her during that time and observing how she is studying. She is better than before but still is easily distracted. Hope she gets better with this type of teaching.
     
  5. shreyashreyas

    shreyashreyas Gold IL'ite

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  6. teacher

    teacher Platinum IL'ite

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    OK here are some things to try…this is a long term project…sobe prepared to work the entire academic year to teach certain skills.

    1. After playtime…sit with your daughter and do a ‘maalish’ type massage. Did you ever do the oil bath ritual as a kid? If you did, you probably remember the kind of massage I’m talking about-with a firm touch. This assists with integration-to sustain attention.
    2. Check your daughter’s seating. Do her feet touch the ground? Are her soles flat against the floor?
    3. How does she sit? Does she slouch or constantly reposition her upper body? If she does, it maybe because she has poor trunk stability. That too can interfere with attending and completing tasks.
    4. 1 ½ hrs is a long time for a six year old. And I know you have no control over it coz of the work loadL Give a water break after 15 minutes. Work on some stretching and finger exercises before the writing begins. During the break try activities like jumping jacks, crab walking, hugging themselves and rolling on the floor-make it a fun game for the kids.
    To teach independent study habits… Sit with her for the first 30 minutes. After she completes that assignment, pinpoint one task you want her to do on her own.
    1. Go over the instructions.
    2. Next ask her to “Explain what needs to be done in your own words.”
    3. Remind her that she has to do this on her own.
    4. If you have a timer or a stopwatch you can set it for what you think is a reasonable amount of time-knowingher ability, don’t make it too easy or difficult. If you don’t have either, usea clock in her field of vision. “It is <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:time Hour="19" Minute="0">7.00 pm</st1:time>now. I will come back to check at 7.10. By then you should have completed thistask.” At 7.07 give a verbal reminder-“You have three more minutes to completethe task.”
    5. Check back at 7.10.
    6. Review how much work wascompleted. If the entire task was finished, good for her-say “You finished thison your own.” (start with you). If it is incomplete…discuss what happened. Didshe talk? Did she play around? What should she do the next time? Let herprocess and give you the answer, especially for the last question.
    7. Go back toworking with her for the rest of the session.
    8. Do the same thing the next day. Before she starts, review the previous day's outcome. “Whathappened yesterday? What kept you from completing the task? What should you dotoday to complete the task on your own?” Try this for at least two weeks to seeif she is able to accomplish independent work habits for that one task.
    Redirecting her to the task: When you work with yourdaughter, if she starts talking, peering into her brother’s notebook, etc(anything she does to avoid the task), use non verbal cues to redirect her. Ifshe talks, don’t get involved in the discussion. Instead say, “Finish thatanswer and I’ll answer your question.” Or put a finger on your lips (to indicatethat it is quiet time) and point to her work with the other hand. Or you canset limits “You can check his work after you complete page <st1:metricconverter ProductID="8.”">8.”</st1:metricconverter>

    If not being able engage with each other is difficult, keepa set of markers and some blank cards. “You can draw something for him afteryou finish this page…you can write her a letter after you complete…” The keyword is after and you have given them an outlet to manage their interactions.

    This is not an overnight panacea. It will take you a whileto see improvements. Keep in mind theirage and abilities. I would love to say that she is only six…but I know thereality of the writing workloadL

    Some children grow out of it as their body matures. Some childrenlearn by developing better study habits but a few may need more help. You willbe the best judge of what she needs as you work with her. You can also look fora developmental occupational therapist. He/she may do an evaluation and giveyou a sense of how well she processes and integrates sensory stimuli. This is overlooked too often but very very helpful in young children with attention needs. But make sure it is a develpomental OT and not one who works with adults.

    Start with this one aspect and I will add more in the nextweek or so. If she can already do this by herself, do post it and you can lookat challenging her a little more.
     
  7. shreyashreyas

    shreyashreyas Gold IL'ite

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    thankyou very much teacher, I will certainly follow your instructions.. but one thing that irks her mentally is the pace of my son. he finishes his work and comes to her. she feels that she is not so good as him. i have always been on her side. thanks to me my son never complains but does his work. again i also encourage him indirectly so that my daughter will not be left behind. managing between these two is giving me more pressure and i start losing my temper to myself. i thank god that i dont show any anger to them. sometimes i am devastated. but i will certainly try all the above mentioned points and keep you updated by next week
     
  8. teacher

    teacher Platinum IL'ite

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    mmm...that's why I had suggested seating them separately...Do you think you could work on a gradual separation? It really depends on how much time and energy you have...

    Seat them together for most of the session but give them a different work area for the last 15 minutes or the last activity/task. If you sense any anxiety for even this short period, then they can preselect a fun activity to do after completing hw. That will give them something to look forward to after the session.

    When you try any such new practice, you have to keep at it for atleast 2-3 weeks to see any progress. When you first start the practice, you will see a lot of resistance...it usually irons itself out.

    Also: Do they have a common circle of friends with a few of their 'personal' friends? Do help them form separate friendships. Encourage them to find one creative outlet which is their own-not together.

    Yes it can be stressful for you...since you are aware of it, what do you do to help yourself? Awareness should lead to the next step:)

    She is starting to see herself in terms of others' achievements or actions...make it a point to recognize every family member for something that they did right...it doesn't have to be just academics. It can be a tough moral decision, helping someone else, when they take risks that can be emotionally challenging...(that's really what you want for your daughter..to keep trying even if the probability of success is 50-50). Everyone in your family should be involved in this..this is not just about complimenting your daughter.you can comment on something your husband did very well, your husband can comment on your daughter's choices, or she on her brother's task.
    If the comments focus only on her, that too makes her stand out...so let everyone participate and any family member can the subject.

    Another thing about the writing...can you get a slant board (don't remember where you live)?
    <img alt="Large Economy <i>Slant Board</i>" src="http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/public/m8j83khcjkJFoNpJ2OyZr-hVReU83Trt_UxW-qSJqLNARh7JEnt0Ws_onYp_j0ObQNElDFGAVz1UaDrt5Ka4nT4kFFsJ_iZ0w0jiHJdhdGX56Rno_gFKpFX-afmmLrO8bAg9ga7nV141q9X4FKyj0ClHK3Fv7uXuu0q2q393bjIwfX-ieCCz5Ug6q6W--nSG1-ydji1_nmFs_ZOh0YT-v6c5z_YR0aMI=s90-c" sb_id="ms__id1097">looks something like this..it helps position her arm the right way and allows for free wrist movement (which is what a well coordinated writer uses...A poorly coordinated writer moves his/her whole arm from left to right) If you don't get a slant board you can create your own. Sometimes we use the big office binders...or see a local carpernter armes with images from google and have him make on for you...with the clip rivetted at the top (to hold the paper in place).

    will add more soon.

    does the pic not show up?
     
  9. shreyashreyas

    shreyashreyas Gold IL'ite

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    Yes they do have a common circle of friends and also their separate set. But at all times, they both are their best friend.

    no the picture is not seen, but i have bought both two separate writing desks wherein they can sit on the floor and write using the desk.
     
  10. teacher

    teacher Platinum IL'ite

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    That's good that they have their own friends...and their bond will always be special. It is just to make sure that they have other friends as well. It helps develop their individuality.

    Do google slant board and look at the image. Or is your writing table raised at an angle? That angle is the key to help with the writing.

    Rama
     

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