Attention and Concentration Difficulties

TEENAGERS

Attention and Concentration Difficulties

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 e...

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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TESTIMONIAL

Donal - Aged 17May '14

“… Donal was extremely frustrated, almost agitated, in school .… Throughout the program things have gone from strength to strength for Donal, school life has completely changed for the good, his confidence has grown and overall he is much more content ….“ Donal’s parents were very conc...

“… Donal was extremely frustrated, almost agitated, in school .… Throughout the program things have gone from strength to strength for Donal, school life has completely changed for the good, his confidence has grown and overall he is much more content ….“

Donal’s parents were very concerned about how difficult school was for him. His parents made an appointment at Cluas in Dublin in late November 2013 for an Assessment and in mid January Donal started his Cluas @ Home program.

The 3-week first stage was completed by February. After an interval of a month, the next stage of 8 days was completed by late March. The third and final stage was arranged for after the Easter holidays and finished in early May. Donal’s mother, Sally, told us about Donal’s experiences with school before the Cluas program and how he got on after the program started:

Prior to starting the Cluas program, Donal was extremely frustrated, almost agitated, in school as he had plenty ability but was not able to apply it and it was a struggle for all of us as a family seeing him so unhappy. His concentration in class was poor thus leading to him having difficulties with teachers. Home/family life was fine.

The Cluas program was suggested to us by a friend and we have not looked back. Within a couple of weeks Donal was much happier and started to settle in school. Most of the teachers were on board but we had to fight his corner as they knew very little about the Claus program. Throughout the program things have gone from strength to strength for Donal, school life has completely changed for the good, his confidence has grown and overall he is much more content.

The care, support and attention we as a family received was fantastic. We are at the end of the program and we are aware that the support if needed will always be there for us. Wonderful program with wonderful people, so glad we found it for Donal. Many thanks

Sally, May 2014

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