Inattention issues

⦁ Attract attention by making a sound or using a visual cue (such as turning off the lights).
⦁ Establish a series of gentle and loving nonverbal signs to remind the child to focus on you.
⦁ Create a nonverbal system to inform the child when they are not paying attention (a stop sign, a moon, a “Good work!” certificate).
⦁ Get physically closer to the child when giving out instructions.
⦁ Teach them automatic responses for certain procedures (e.g., multiplication table).

How to communicate successfully

⦁ Take the time to clarify your statements before speaking.
⦁ Make sure the child is listening to you.
⦁ Eliminate sources of distraction before speaking.
⦁ Be succinct, direct, and positive while using a neutral tone.
⦁ Avoid questions and instructions that are indirect and unclear:

“Take your coat and put it on the hanger.”

Rather than:

“Could you pick up your coat, please?”

"Stay seated."

Rather than:

"Calm down."

⦁ Use short statements of no more than 10 words.
⦁ Say what the child must do, not just what they can’t do.
⦁ Issue one instruction at a time.
⦁ Ask them to repeat the instruction back to you.
⦁ Give them at least 5 seconds to react.
⦁ Divide long instructions into a series of single, logical steps. Use a visual aid if needed. One step at a time!

Develop their awareness for time

⦁ Place markers on a clock, or use a timer or an hourglass.

Plan ahead

⦁ Use a checklist and teach the child to cross off tasks as they finish them.
⦁ Mark important dates on a calendar.