Attention: key to school success

A new school year is beginning, full of enthusiasm and anticipation of success on the part of parents regarding their children. At the end of it, however, parents will be concerned about the difficulties they have shown by their children, and others will be distressed to deal with a school failure.

School failure can be minimized if difficulty is detected with essential learning skills to help the child develop it optimally. Learning skills go beyond the intellectual capacity you can have because it affects all academic areas, such as attention. A very important skill for school success is to be able to attend to so that we can understand and come to learn.

How does a care problem affect at school?

Statistics indicate that it’s common for kids with difficulty attending to also have difficulty with reading, writing, and math.

Reading problems

Problems with reading can arise in the early grades, while learning to read, because they have to concentrate so much on reading the words well and tend to lose the message behind them. Others will present it in later grades and will have to read the same writing several times to understand it.

Parents will also be able to observe the tendency for these children to think of something else as they read, leading them to read the wrong words and thus affecting understanding. The longer the sentence to read, the more likely your reading comprehension is to be affected. Following the instructions in the exams to perform properly will still be a challenge.

Others might present challenges with reading comprehension because they have difficulty understanding long texts, despite having an adequate vocabulary. There are those who, because of their impulsivity and attention issues, often omit words and misinterpret the content of reading.

This difficulty affects the understanding of written instructions, because the child performs the task with the information he has managed to retain, ignoring another that will prevent him from responding according to the macro, to the total sense of what is required.

Writing problems

Problems with writing can be evident from the beginning of learning this skill, as the child has to form letters and join them together to form words. While, in later grades, having to write a paragraph, it will have difficulty in beginning the drafting of the paragraph and in organizing its ideas to translate them into a role.


As for mathematics, these children are usually impulsive, ignore details and skip steps in the sequence needed to solve an equation, despite being clear about mathematical concepts.

The presence of a problem with auditory processing is very common in children with attention disorders, and can impact learning the three basic skills: reading, writing, and math.

It is very common for them to have difficulty following a sequence of instructions with several steps, as well as a tendency to understand better what they see, or with visual keys, than what they only hear.

The constant requirement to have the question, instruction, or message repeated is a compensatory tool that helps them better understand. The tendency to distraction with noises, even if they are insignificant, such as a leak, shows the difficulty of focusing on a stimulus, while ignoring one who competes with the principal, this makes concentrating in the classroom a monumental task.

How can you help these children?

In some children it is difficult to identify the difficulty of attending before starting in school, but in others the indicators are obvious from the preschool stage. In such cases, parents should start helping the child prepare for entry to kindergarten.

A specialist evaluation and specialized therapies to increase sensory processing and attention can prevent future school failure. Other children will highlight indicators at the school level, and both they and their parents will experience moments of frustration and anguish when they receive constant complaints from teachers.

Learn more about our Children with Attention Disorders and Hearing Processing Difficulty Program. Click here.

If the child shows a high level of activity, the hyperactive, they will be able to assign the difficulties to a possible attention disorder, and it is the responsibility of teachers to refer the child to a specialist who evaluates it and determines if that is the diagnosis. If so, parents should decide between the use of drugs and/or therapies to increase attention, such as auditory sensory therapy and interactive metronmo, in addition to the necessary accommodation that must be made in the classroom.

A more complicated case is that of the child who does not have a high level of activity, the inattentive, but who presents all the difficulties described above to learn. For teachers, these children may be presenting problems of attitude, lack of motivation and interest, of dismissal. They could be disciplined or treated as if they had a behavioral problem and because they understand that they don’t mind learning. These are the children who after school have to go to tutoring, therapies and supervised studies to deal with the challenges they encounter on a daily basis to properly execute in the classroom.

Only a diagnosis by professionals can clarify the riddle and make the treatment they require viable. It is time for more importance to attention skills as key to school success and not just to recommend psychometric evaluations. As Daniel Goleman, professor of psychology at Harvard University and editor of Psychology Today, points out: “Knowing how to concentrate is more decisive for a child than his IQ.”