Staff
& Professionals

How to help young people with Listening and Attention difficulties

 

What are Listening and attention difficulties?

 

Difficulty focussing attention and listening in the classroom

  • Focus the student’s attention before giving instructions.
  • Try to do one thing at a time e.g. either writing or looking for information.  Flag up changes so the student knows to change his focus of attention.
  • Make the student aware of good listening skills, e.g. sitting still, looking at the teacher, and not talking.
  • Use appropriate pictures or signs to represent these skills.  Give positive feedback on appropriate listening and attention.

 

Switching off when being given verbal information

Use an appropriate level of language.  Use short, simple sentences.  It is often useful to chunk information into shorter pieces.

 

Not knowing what to do

  • Encourage the student to tell you what they have heard to ensure they have taken in information.
  • Encourage a classroom policy of ‘Its good to ask if you don’t know what to do’.

 

Distracted by other pupils and what is happening in the surrounding envrionment 

  • Be aware of and reduce background noise and distractions where possible.
  • Check where the student is positioned so he has a clear view of the teacher and the white board.

 

Unable to sustain attention throughout the lesson

  • Have realistic expectations and allow suitable learning breaks. 
  • Keep activities varied to maintain interest.
  • Refocus the student’s attention when necessary.

 

 

 

Further information can be found in Secondary Language Builders - Advice and activities to encourage the communication skills of 11-16 year olds available from www.elklan.co.uk .

Local Initiatives

Early Years Initiatives

Our Early years team are currently working together with the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, this includes a rollout of language screening of children using Wellcomm tool.

School Age Initiatives

We currently offer a range of virtual training sessions to schools for free! SENCo's will have been informed of training dates that you can book your staff on to. Please contact Fiona Taylor (fiona.taylor@nca.nhs.uk) or your Link SLT if you have any questions about this. 

 

 Enhanced Services initiatives

The Enhanced Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service offer bought-in input in schools. This might involve universal input, individual or group interventions. The Enhanced Team also support schools and staff to develop communication friendly environments and deliver training. For further information, please contact Fiona Taylor – fiona.taylor@nca.nhs.uk

 

I would also like to say that I am very impressed with the work Speech and Language Therapist is doing in school as well as the professional way she deals with my parents and her helpful advise to my staff. I believe credit where credit is due.

School staff

Lorna is amazing to work with and has made such an impact on our school provision, we are lucky to have her!

School SENCo

My child absolutely LOVES coming to see you, you are so good with him. We are extremely grateful for all of your care and support. He is counting down the days until we can come again.

Parent

We loved our sessions with Lucie, we found her to be positive and encouraging, we have already seen a huge improvement in his communication, using words and attempting new words to communicate with us in everyday tasks and his confidence in learning new words has shot up, he’s attempting 2 word phrases pretty well and even attempted 3 words on a couple of occasions. The difference for us is huge and we feel Lucie has set us up to keep improving now that the sessions are over.

Parent

I just wanted to send a quick email to say thank you for the training you delivered for us this afternoon, it was so useful and informative. It was great to have further training that was bespoke to Early Years and built on what we had done in the whole school training. We're excited to start implementing it for our children.

Early Years Teacher

I have just attended the virtual open evening and I thought it was a really nice way to explain the role and introduce the team as opposed to reading it on a job ad. I felt very lucky to have seen many of the benefits Fiona spoke about too so thank you for providing me with the opportunity to sit in on the training sessions.

Speech and Language Therapy Student

I am new to the role and I have found all members of the team extremely helpful and have gone out of their way to support me.

School SENCo

This is great and I am so appreciative of your support. We have nothing but fantastic things to say about the Salford SALT team and the support that you have given to both of our children.

Parent