In a therapeutic preschool program, class sizes are usually smaller than a typical preschool program, which allows for a more individualized approach to learning. This can be extremely beneficial for children who experience developmental delays or require a bit more support in areas, such as attention issues.
In recent years, it seems that the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is skyrocketing in young children. If a child has ADHD, they will experience issues with paying attention in school and exhibit hyper-active and impulsive behaviors. As a result, kiddos with ADHD often require more structured support in school, as they process information differently than children who do not have ADHD. If your child has ADHD or trouble paying attention to tasks, a therapeutic preschool program may be a great solution.
Here are five ways a therapeutic preschool program will address attention issues in class:
Keep screen time to a minimum: In our society, children are being exposed to electronics and screens from a very early age. While there are some educational benefits to using iPads and other devices during class, excessive screen time can provide unnecessary stimulation for little ones.
Move around: Kiddos with attention issues or ADHD will often find it challenging to stay in their seat for extended periods of time. When it is time to transition from one activity to another in a therapeutic preschool program, think about giving your kiddos a chance to move around for a few seconds. Given the chance to move around (e.g. doing 15 jumping jacks next to their chair), they will be able to refocus their attention for the next activity by getting out some of their energy.
Remove distractions (when possible): Many children with attention issues will struggle to stay focused if there are distractions in the classroom. If you are working with a child in a therapeutic preschool class one-on-one, it may be most effective to do so in a quiet corner of the classroom where there is minimal background noise and activity.
Incorporate interests into lessons: If a child in a therapeutic preschool class is having difficulty staying focused, try tying their areas of interests into lessons. For example, if you make dinosaurs a part of the lessons and they are interested in that, it may be easier to keep the child engaged in the task.
Fidgets: Allowing children with ADHD or attention issues to use a fidget toy during their therapeutic preschool class can help keep them focused and engaged. Having a fidget to keep their hands busy will allow them to remain seated and better able to focus on the task.
Every child with attention issues or ADHD processes information in a unique way, so try a few techniques to see what works best with your child in a therapeutic preschool setting. If you think the additional support of a therapeutic preschool program could help with your child’s attention issues, contact CST Academy at 773-620-7800. We provide many services for children in the Chicago area, including ABA therapy, feeding therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.