Activities to Encourage Focus

  •  Structure and predictability in routine
  • Preferential seating (according to dominance profile and distractibility)
  • Office “cubby” made of folders etc. to reduce visual distraction for those easily distracted by visual stimuli
  • Head phones or trial period of using iPod or calming music/nature sounds for independent work
  • Standing to learn at higher desk or table or podium at back of room
  • Use of gum, tic tacs or dry pasta to chew on throughout the day
  • Allowing opportunities to take a walk to get water and physical movement
  • Use of water bottle
  • Trial of weighted exercise ball or t stool for class work (students with focus issues are moving in order to stimulate the inner ear/vestibular to pay attention)
  • Balance cushion on chair seat or on the floor when seated
  • Velcro under desk for tactile student
  • Squeezy ball
  • Allowing kinesthetic movement during memorization such as math facts or spelling words (ie. Playing catch)
  • Handwriting issues:  use of graph paper for visual spatial issues.  Use of ball and or gum will improve emotional grounding and calmness during writing activities.

Other OT recommended ideas:

  • Theraband around desk legs
  • Weighted vest or something similar 20-30 minutes per day during teacher instruction
  • Changing color of handouts from teacher
  • Highlighting boxes in math workbook
  • Use of drawer system (plastic from discount store) instead of desk.  Organize by subject in the order they occur during the day and last drawer for personal items (library books, glue etc.)
  • Pacing line at the back of the classroom.
  • Sensory box full of construction type activities that are earned as a reward (clay, knex)

 Jaynee Hodgkins Brain Integration Specialist JMHodgkins@msn.com Effective October, 2010

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1 Comment

  1. April 5, 2012 at 9:34 am

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