Problems with focus and concentration in children

Child psychomotor development is a very dynamic process, which sometimes is difficult for us to keep up. Toddlers are extremely mobile and lively, often have a hundred ideas per minute. Attention deficit in young children is quite normal, but the ability to concentrate increases with age. What if your child has already reached school age and concentration problems make it difficult for him to function everyday? When simple parent exercises will suffice, and when is it necessary to see a specialist? In the following article, we will answer common questions about problems with focus and concentration in children.

Different types of concentration problems

Sometimes a child is full of energy, even hyperactive, but lacks patience in performing the tasks entrusted, and each external stimulus is a distracting factor. Usually a child disturbs school because he can’t sit quietly on the bench without interfering with other people and interrupting the teacher. Paying attention often results in annoyance and nervousness, and non-standard behavior is a common cause of peers rejecting a child. Specialists attribute such symptoms to attention deficit of the active-compulsive type.

A completely different range of behaviors is presented by a child with a attention deficit of the passive type who does not have hyperactivity or impulsive behavior. In this case, the child is slow and thoughtful – it is often said that he or she has his head in the clouds or is daydreaming. It takes a child a lot of time to take up any task and  to perform it. The reason is that the child is constantly distracted.



How to recognize your child’s attention disorder? Certainly it’s hard for him to focus in the environment of any external stimuli, not only while the TV is turned on, but with all the little things around. Your child may also not respond to your words, just as if they haven’t heard them. Children with impaired concentration rarely care about organization and order in their surroundings. For them it is common to lose toys or other things. Often, you can also see symptoms in the emotional and social sphere, which include problems with controlling emotions, conflicts with peers, and emotional instability.

When attention deficit is a symptom of major problems – ADHD and ADD in children

Do not look for problems with concentration in children under 5 years of age, because their attention is still involuntary, that is, very susceptible to any sudden changes in the environment. Changes in this area are only between 5 and 7 years of age, so a proper diagnosis of attention disorders is only possible after this period. If you have disturbing symptoms for some time, it is worth going to a child psychologist or a pedagogical counseling center, where specialists will determine the causes of the child’s concentration disorders and help remove them.

Often, concentration exercises and small changes in the environment, such as eliminating distractions, are enough for your child to improve their attention. However, sometimes the occurring symptoms are a component of complex syndromes, at which it may be necessary to introduce specialist psychotherapy and even pharmacotherapy. The most common disease is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as attention-deficit disorder (ADD).

It is worth emphasizing that the etiology of these syndromes is multifactorial. Scientists speculate that these problems have a genetic basis and are associated with disorders in the nervous system. It does not change the fact that making diagnosis of ADHD or ADD is difficult because there is no clear border between these diseases and concentration disorders that are still within the norm. That is why it is so important to choose an experienced child psychologist who will pay attention to the subtle differences in child behavior.

How to respond to concentration problems in children?

Regardless of the causes of your child’s attention deficit, this problem should not be underestimated. Appropriate parental approach and concentration exercises can help children avoid school difficulties and conflicts with peers. In the case of ADHD or ADD, early diagnosis and a therapy with child psychologist or child psychiatrist will reduce the chances that these symptoms persist in adulthood.

Read more: Taking Your Child to a Child Psychologist

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