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Empowering the Special Needs Community
5 Activities To Help Your Special Child Concentrate Better
A guest post by Aradhana Pandey
Kids are born explorers. Their minds are constantly ticking, and their senses encourage them to learn more about the things, places and people around them. Just when their eyes fall on something that fascinates them, something else that they find more captivating will catch their attention. Given this short attention span, it becomes hard for kids to focus and concentrate on a particular activity.
Disrupted attention is a lot more pronounced in kids with special needs who find it even harder to focus their energies on one thing for too long. This can pose a great challenge for them especially during social situations like school and group play activities where concentration is essential. If you too struggle with getting your little one to concentrate on one thing at a time, here are five activities that can work wonders:
Medically proven to be the one cure for many ailments, yoga is a highly effective way to improve special needs kids’ concentration while also helping enhance their strength, flexibility, and coordination. It is even a great activity to calm anxious and easily agitated kids. A study published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy found that practicing yoga controlled aggressive behavior, social withdrawal and hyperactivity in kids with autism. Enroll your child in a yoga class designed especially for kids with special needs and practice other calming activities like breathing exercises and meditation.
Art is a great medium that enables a child to express thoughts and ideas that are sometimes difficult to convey in words. It is also a wonderful way to improve your child’s concentration, hand-eye coordination, motor skills, memory and creative expression. Involve your little one in art and craft activities like coloring, drawing, cutting and pasting. These activities are not only creatively satisfying but also mentally and emotionally uplifting. Give your children the freedom to create anything they like, but be sure to supervise the creative process. Be encouraging and patient as your little one creates this work of art.
3. Memory Games
Memory games are also extremely useful to help improve your child’s attention span. You can use matching flashcards, board games or a regular deck of cards to encourage thinking and build concentration. Memory apps specifically designed for kids with special needs can also come in handy. Demonstrate the first round for your child to learn and follow instead of giving verbal instructions.
4. Sensory Play
A multi-sensory play experience helps kids with special needs enhance their concentration, attention span, and social connections. A mix of visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile play experiences help kids who are very anxious and fidgety, focus. Certain sounds, aromas, textures, and pictures can help establish a sense of familiarity in your child’s mind. Sensory stimuli can also improve memory as well as the power of association. For example, hearing a lullaby can make a child think of bedtime, while the sound of food crackling may bring to mind memories of mealtime.
5. Interactive Media
Interactive Media such as audiovisual books, pop-up books, and learning apps are gaining a lot of popularity among kids. These media are not only more engaging, but are likely to hold your child’s attention for longer periods without causing your little one’s mind to wander. Interactive media can also help your child better understand emotional cues associated with varying vocal tones. Opt for media that offers a wider range of sensory stimuli.
Organizing small group learning and play activities for your child is another good way to develop concentration and social skills. Ensure that you keep a constant tab on your child’s verbal and nonverbal behavior to understand how comfortable your little one is with the activity. Be sure to compliment your child on a regular basis for tasks well done while providing guidance where necessary. Most importantly, be sure to keep an open mind. Different strategies will work with different kids, and it may take you some time to figure out what works best for your little one.
What do you do to improve your child’s concentration? Share your tips and suggestions in the comments below.
Aradhana is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition,
wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post,
Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com,
Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free