This will prioritize neurodiverse children and those with learning disabilities, leading them towards occupational therapy and how it can improve their tools for focusing in class.
Overstimulation In The Classroom
Let’s be realistic: there are so many situations, disturbances, and information that accumulates in a classroom, resulting in some children being distracted or disengaged in the actual educational content being presented. It can be near impossible to focus in class at times.
This can be especially true for children who are neurodivergent; these children are more prone to being overstimulated in a classroom where their individual needs are not being met. This isn’t to fault the parent, teacher, or institution for the regulation of neurodivergent children’s accessibility, but rather to shed light on the issue that neurodivergent children face daily in the classroom.
Neurodivergence Can Funnel Creativity
Many adults will look at the symptoms of neurodivergence and assume that the behaviours children display are attention-seeking, disruptive, and a hindrance in the classroom without considering what the child may be missing in their educational learning experience.
For many children, neurodivergence is a creativity tool that they can rely on to find new ways of working through a confusing world. For example, a neurodivergent child counting out loud in a classroom may be bewildering to a teacher. But, for the student, it may be the way they tackle math or counting problems without losing their focus in class. This type of creativity is often overlooked as a learning tool by authority figures, therefore leading the child in question to be misguided in their learning
Here Are Some Helpful Tools to Focus in Class
Fortunately, there are many ways a neurodivergent child can keep their focus in the classroom without having to hide or “put away” the traits that make them unique. With every neurodivergent child, there are an infinite amount of ways their brain processes information. This can be overwhelming for both the child, their classmates, and the teacher if it is not addressed adamantly and correctly, so following some of the tips below may help your child retain more of their educational information in ways that make sense to their brain:
- Talk to their teacher: Sometimes finding the right solution for your child needs to include having a constructive conversation with their teacher about their behaviours, habits, and routines that they only display in the classroom.
- Ask about learning styles: Neurodivergent children often learn through hands-on experiences (utilizing their senses) to fully grasp a concept. Try asking your child how they prefer to learn things and see if those tips can be accessible and reasonable within the classroom.
- Engage with their work: As a parent, when you engage with the work that your neurodivergent child is producing genuinely and optimistically, it demonstrates to them that the efforts they applied in their various projects are valid and deserve praise, even when they aren’t normal or conventional.
- Be present in their school life: This may be difficult for many parents who are not running on a school-day schedule but being present is the greatest gift you could give to a neurodivergent student (or any child for that matter!). The safety of knowing that someone is on their team, and advocating for their needs and resources can make a huge impact on a neurodivergent child’s academic success.
- Check out more ideas to help students focus in class HERE
Help Your Child Succeed Today
Every child’s educational journey is going to be vastly different, but the way you show up for your child is what could make the biggest difference. No child should ever feel like they are not formal, suited, or “normal” enough for classrooms, which is why supporting them academically is so crucial. If you believe your child is suffering in the classroom because of their neurodivergence, please feel free to reach out to Koru Family Psychology where we can personalize sessions or interventions and find the best path for them.