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Attention

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

A simple explanation of attention is the behavioural and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one thing. It enables the brain to provide clarity, without being distracted by other ongoing trains of thought. Even minor head injuries can result in problems with attention.

The different types of attention are:

  • Basic arousal – basic alertness and awareness of what is happening around you
  • Sustained attention – ability to stay alert and concentrate over a period of time
  • Selective attention – ability to focus your attention on one thing or task without getting distracted
  • Alternating attention – ability to shift attention back and forth between tasks or activities
  • Divided attention – ability to focus on more than one thing at the same time

Attention is critical for cognitive functions. Problems with attention and concentration result in difficulties with:

  • Keeping track of what is being said or done
  • Experiencing information overload
  • Having difficulty doing more than one task at a time
  • Being slower at taking in information
  • Becoming easily distracted
  • Finding it difficult to focus
  • Finding difficulty in completion of tasks
  • Making mistakes or errors
  • Getting fatigued or tired

 

Attention can be improved by:

  • Breaking down tasks into smaller parts and working on them one at a time.
  • Focusing – do tasks for a short time, rather than a long time.
  • Planning more difficult tasks when you know you will be rested and have more mental and physical energy to get them done.
  • Planning a variety of tasks to keep your interest and motivation
  • Planning regular breaks and rest throughout the day
  • Improving the quality of your sleep and physical health and fitness
  • Get rid of clutter and be more organised
  • Try to avoid noisy or busy environments
  • Reduce distractions by turning off radios, telephones etc.
  • Use of visual reminders and prompts
  • Keep a to do list to get back on track if you have been distracted
  • Make use of technology for reminders and prompts

"We need to harness the power of brain plasticity for treating children and young people with brain injury. Stressful experiences alter brain development of a child, especially at the key ages of 0-3 and at ages 10-16"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"Rehabilitation interventions can lead to positive outcomes for children and their families if delivered in the familiar home environment and applied to everyday situations"
Cerebra; United Kingdom
"Often families don't have the financial capability to access services. We need to rethink how we delivery neuro-rehab services to children and young people"
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"We are medical practitioners. The real experts are the parents. Over the last 35 years they have taught me everything I know"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
"Positive and coordinated neuro-rehab interventions for children and young people is prove to bring health improvements; improve independence; a decline in the need for sheltered living; decreases vulnerability; decreases drop-out rates in schools; decreases youth offending"
Eric Hermans; Netherlands
"More play increases brain plasticity and makes for better recovery post brain injury"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"Different 'experts' involved in pediatric neuro-rehabilitation come from different organisational cultures which causes conflict and has a negative effect on the outcomes for the child."
Barbara O'Connell; Ireland
"Strength-based family intervention after pediatric ABI is essential. Parents need to be equipped with the skills to cope and advocate for the child."
Caron Gan; Canada
"NHS clinicians struggle with what intervention to priorities in pediatric neuro-rehabilitation due to limited clinical time and the complexity of needs. Children, clinicians, parents and schools all have different neuro-rehabilitation priorities"
Recolo; United Kingdom
"Restoration of anatomical functions and relationships must be done within 2 months of brain injury"
Eyzyon Eisentein; Israel

OUR MISSION: To work to remove (health) inequalities for children & young people affected by acquired brain injury; and provide effective support to their families that makes a real difference.

Council for Disabled Children Lottery Funded