attention and learning strategies

In all forms of epilepsy, maintaining attention and concentration can be challenging. Attention problems may be the core weakness leading to memory problems in many people. Regardless of whether this is due to medications or due to the seizures, it does present a barrier to learning. Some strategies to improve attention include:

  • Remove potential distractions (e.g., locate child close to the front of the classroom, away from a doorway, window or clock,)
  • Use material that is interesting for the student
  • Encourage goal-directed behaviour and use reinforcements and rewards
  • Break tasks into small components
  • Use physical prompts to focus attention (e.g., point to appropriate parts of the page or cover up sections of the page)
  • Maintain eye contact when speaking to the student
  • Keep instructions short and avoid multiple step instructions
  • Have the student repeat back to make sure information was heard
  • Some students benefit from headphones that deliver “white noise.”
  • Allow the student time to get up and flex large muscles.
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