Attention and Concentration

ADULTS

Attention and Concentration

David has always wondered about his ability to concentrate for any prolonged period of time. He often catches himself daydreaming – he might be watching a television programme and suddenly realise that he has lost track of the story line, switching over to another channel for a little while and moving on again as the process repeats.

David did reasonbly well at second level, scraping by but with enough points to get into a IT course at third level. College was much more difficult than he thought it would be, the increased demands, new lifestyle, and nobody reminding him to pay attention. He always felt that he was quite good at computers and IT in general, but it took him a long time to complete any assignments or course work as he found he was always thinking about other things… in fact anything else other than the task at hand.

In his professional career, David’s inability to pay attention and concentrate had started to become a big issue for him. David started to realise that other colleagues were getting more important and bigger jobs and he started to feel that he was being passed by, because everyone knew that he had little focus.

David contacted Cluas and came for an assessment. At the assessment his auditory processing abilities were measured using standardised tests. His listening profile was also assessed.

Following consultation at Cluas, David immediately started to feel more at ease. His assessment showed that he had a specific auditory processing difficulty. This meant that he was unable to filter out extraneous noise and was constantly distracted by all the little sounds and noises around him, and it was likely that his attention skills had not developed fully.

One of the primary reasons for this is that David has an Auditory Processing difficulty described as hyper sensitivity to Bone Conduction – this was clearly seen when he completed a Listening Test at Cluas.

We hear sounds in two ways, through Air Conduction i.e. our ears, and through Bone Conductioni.e. our bodies, (have you ever felt a sound in your body, perhaps the low bass sound in a disco, or the rumbling of lorry outside on the road? This is bone conduction). When the correct relationship between listening through Bone conduction and Air conduction exists a person is initially prepared for an incoming sound by bone conduction, and then the sound is wholly received via air conduction. This allows the person’s system to prepare for the incoming sounds, and thus pay correct attention to them. When an atypical relationship exists (such as a hyper-sensitivity to bone conduction) paying attention, concentrating and focusing can be very difficult, as is the case for David.

To address this Auditory processing difficulty David completed a Cluas Programme. The programme uses specialised headphones equipped with a bone conduction device and a sophisticated computer to process sound. The aim of a Cluas programme in Joseph’s case was to desensitise Joseph to bone conduction. Additionally the Cluas Programme allowed for the correct use of bone conduction (preparing a person to listen through air conduction) to develop. This was done by sending Joseph a signal through bone conduction long before it was sent through air conduction by using a sophisticated system of delays. Throughout the programme this time difference was progressively altered which allowed for the correct use of bone conduction to develop.

Towards the end of the first stage David reported that he was feeling very content and generally in great form, although he had not noticed any specific developments regarding his attention and concentration.

David started stage 2 a month after the completion of stage 1. At the review before stage 2 started he reported that directly after stage 1 he had felt very tired but that this passed within a few days and that for the rest of the month he had a lot of energy, was sleeping better, was less worried and generally in good form. David’s listening test at the beginning of stage 2 showed some reduction in his hyper sensitivity (his bone conduction) and that his curves were starting to realign.

Again a month after the end of stage 2 David returned for a review before stage 3. This time he said that his boss had commented on the fact that he was more focused, taking less time to complete projects and produsing work of a higher quality. David was clearly delighted with this and was looking forward to seeing what his listening test revealed. His listening test did indeed show that his bone curve was now in much better alignment with his air curve – that is his hypersensitivity to sound was reduced and extraneous noise was not intruding as it was before. He was better able to filter out unwanted sound information and thus was better able to pay attention and concentrate for longer periods of time. David’s programme in stage 3 aimed at creating a finer balance between his air and bone curves, while giving the curves an optimal shape.

About 2 months following the completion of stage 3, David returned to Cluas for a follow up listening test. This test showed that his curves had settled well, that they had good shape and most importantly that his sensitivity to bone conduction was reduced. David explained that work was going very well and that he was happier with the projects that he was getting and with his overall performance at work. He felt that his concentration and attention were even better than after stage 2, and that he found himself to be more outgoing, more talkative and in much better form than six months previously.

Looking back David now comes across as a much more confident, talkative and positive man. David himself is delighted with the outcome of the programme and is very hopeful for the future.

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