Attention Difficulties

Cluas Programmes

Our Cluas @ Home programmes are available for Students with Attention and Concentration Difficulties.

Is an Auditory Processing difficulty contributing?

Joseph is 13 and started secondary school last September … He often appears to lose attention and is unable to concentrate on what his teacher is saying. read more >

John is in second year in secondary school and finds paying attention and concentrating in class very difficult. He gets distracted very easily. Little sounds from outside the door, classmates moving at the back of the class or whispering to each other drag his attention away from what his teacher is trying to explain. The result of this is that John sometimes misses part of what the teacher is saying, or the next part of the discussion or instruction – and is constantly trying to play catch up. John is unable to filter out all the surrounding noise in the classroom.

John and Attention Difficulties

This ability to filter out extraneous sound and information is vital for paying attention and concentrating. John is not able to do this and every noise has the same importance or the same sound value.

John knows that he is supposed to be paying attention but other sounds, pieces of information or even thoughts keep intruding and demanding his attention. This has been an ongoing problem and good, prolonged attention has never properly developed.

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

We hear sounds in two ways, through Air conduction i.e. our ears, and through Bone Conduction i.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 it. When an atypical relationship exists (such as a hyper-sensitivity to bone conduction) paying attention, concentration and focus can be very difficult, as is the case for John.

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

John and his parents have been delighted with the outcome of the Cluas programme. One month after John completed the Cluas programme, his class tutor phoned his parents saying that John was like a different person. He is actively contributing in class, the quality of his school work has greatly improved and he seems more content and happier in himself. Negative notes in his homework journal from teachers, regarding his behaviour, day dreaming or not applying himself to his work are a thing of the past.

John’s lack of attention in school was not something that he was deciding to do, it was not bad behaviour or being uncooperative, it was something that he did not have any control over. John’s Cluas programme allowed for his attentional skills to develop, and he now has excellent concentration, focus and attention and is looking forward to his next academic challenge, his Junior Cert!

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