As a child matures, their ability to pay attention for longer periods of time should increase, too. But sometimes, children struggle with attention and focus, which can ultimately hold back their potential.
We spoke with Jennifer Jaynes, executive director and owner at Brain Balance in Dayton, to find out what to do when a child has trouble focusing in school.
What are some clues that your child might need help focusing in school?
There can be many red flags. With large class sizes, teachers have a room full of same-age comparables. If the teacher shares this as a concern, it is feedback to take seriously. Pay attention if your child struggles to complete their work in a timely manner, or completes the work but forgets to turn it in. These can be signs that they are struggling.
If a child is struggling to stay on task, what should a parent do?
I always encourage any parent with a concern to start with an assessment. Sometimes parents can be hesitant, as they don’t want the result to be a label or medication. What is great about the Brain Balance assessment is it provides information to show whether areas of development are on track. It’s hard to create an action plan to help a child if we don’t truly understand where the challenge is coming from.
What else should parents know about this important topic?
A fascinating fact about the brain is that nothing happens in isolation. When one neuron fires, it can connect with up to 1,000 other neurons! This means if a child is struggling with focus, there will be other areas impacted, as well. Perhaps they have a hard time following multi-step directions or controlling their emotions when they become upset. As parents, it is easy to view each of these challenges as separate issues, when in fact, they can be related to areas of immature development. At Brain Balance, our assessment helps to identify the areas of immaturity, then we design a program to strengthen these areas.
Brain Balance in Dayton is located at: 685 Lyons Rd, Centerville, OH 45459, 937-401-2400. Visit their website for more information.