Generally, children appear to be restless and may not always pay attention as they are absorbed in their own worlds. Therefore, they should be assessed by their teachers or parents thoroughly before concluding a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A trained professional must test the child using careful observation with the parent's and teacher's insight over time.
Children have relatively short attention spans and prefer to perform simultaneous activities that require physical movement rather than sitting in a place and focusing. Teachers must find creative ways to make children enjoy lessons and pay attention by incorporating movement and action, thus involving the children completely. Furthermore, creative lessons can use computers or music to sustain children’s interest.
It is important to know what is the average attention span of a child. Here are some points to remember with regard to normal attention span by age:
1. Children aged 5-6 years can attend to one interesting activity for approximately 10-15 minutes, enabling them to filter out distractions.
2. If they lose interest or are unguided, their attention span lasts for about 5-10 minutes.
3. To make it easier, remember the age corresponds to the undivided attention span, i.e., 5 minutes for a 5 year old and 10 minutes for a 10 year old.
4. Children playing in small groups can be attentive and engaged in playing activities for 15-30 minutes.
5. Children aged 6-7 years can sustain attention for an interesting task for upto 30 minutes.
6. Motivating kids can help to hold their attention.
7. Furthermore, short lessons with and movement activities in between lessons that require sitting and focusing are very helpful in sustaining children's attention.
Both, parents and teachers must remember these points and act upon this accordingly and help your child develop with a sustained attention span.