Attention is one among the common and important complaints, the healthcare professionals usually receive from the child’s parents.
Children with ASD find attention as a very challenging skill because these children may not know how to avoid other unnecessary sensory information (for example, background noise) they receive and concentrate on one activity, as a result, they get distracted, frustrated and loses interest in learning.
Developing and improving attention is essential as this plays a vital role in learning and this can be achieved through many activities like below:
1) Glow in the dark
In this activity, the child with the mother is sent to a dark and safe room. A torchlight is used to reflect on the wall and the child is asked to tap the wall once the child sees the light.
(NOTE: Make sure the child is not scared of a dark room)
2) Finger painting
Make the child touch any colored paint with their finger and ask them to scribble on a chart paper. This would help to develop their attention and concentrate on the activity for some minutes.
3) Animal walking
Any kind of animal walks (for this instance, elephant walk) is provided and along with this, an activity like shape concept board is selected. The child is made to select the said shape out of two shapes (for instance, the child is asked to pick a circle from the options – triangle and circle) and the selected correct shape should be carried and placed on the shape concept board, which is placed at a distance, where the child is made to walk like an elephant.
4) Mirror play
Play some rhymes and do act as per the rhymes in front of the mirror and passively make the child perform the same action as well.
5) Tear and blow
Make the child to tear the color papers, once done, place some of the torn papers on the table and ask the child to blow them.
6) Sound making activity
The child can be provided with xylophone, drums, hammering pegs, etc. and asked to play them which on the other hand will help to improve their sitting tolerance.
7) Shape or color sorting
This is easy and can be converted into a prolonging activity (in order to increase their concentration skill). Use either color or shape to be sorted initially and gradually grade the activity using both the concept, that is, color and shape to sort.
For example, green triangle, green rectangle, blue square, blue circle, green square, green circle, blue triangle, blue rectangle, etc.
8) Kinetic sand activity
This is sort of a sensory play as well. Using the moulds provided, ask the child to fill the mould and make shapes out of it.
9) Dip colors
In a bowl add some all-purpose flour and water mix it well and make a watery content. Provide some food colors and a toothpick to the child. Now ask the child to dip the toothpick in any of the food colors and dip on the prepared watery mixture. Repeat this with other colors.
10) Tap the balloon
Blow a balloon and ask the child to tap the balloon.