A Little Distraction Is Good

March 30, 2022

Introducing a little distraction into your daily home therapy for autism and GDD can do wonders for your child's concentration.

Miguel’s teacher recently recommended that we modify his daily activities at home in order to further improve his concentration. Specifically, we wanted Miguel to be able to focus his eyes on objects so that’s what we did.

A little distraction during home activities is good to help children with autism and GDD improve their concentration

A Little Distraction Is Good

It was just a simple change in the way we do his table top activities but I was surprised by Miguel’s progress. For example, instead of the usual routine in which I let him pick a shape from a container and match it in the corresponding groove in the formboard, I call out his name, then I hold the shape at his eye level, I let him lock his gaze at the shape, and then hand It over to him for matching.

That’s just one example but the gist of the adjustment that we did is for him to fix his eyes on the direction that we wanted to. If you are implementing similar activities for your child at home, you can do different variations so long as you catch your child’s attention.

Aside from the slight change in our activities, we got the go signal from Miguel’s teacher to add a little distraction to his daily activities. We can now let Rafa play while his Kuya Miguel did our activities. I actually found that cute, having Rafa by our side, although it was challenging at the same time because Rafa would just grab the toys that we used and insisted that he imitated what Miguel did.
Our little boy Miguel during his afternoon playtime

We can also now play nursery rhymes as we go through our morning routine. I remember Miguel’s previous teacher discouraging us from playing music while he did his tasks because that would just cause distraction. These days, distractions are welcome because they will help further improve Miguel’s attentiveness.

We’ve done the modified activities for a week and I’d like to think that we did great. The recent feedback that we got from Miguel’s teacher was that he went through his last therapy in a breeze. He was generally more focused and followed the instructions much better as compared to the previous sessions.

More recently, we’re also beginning to add movement-based activities to Miguel’s daily routine. He loves doing the wheelbarrow exercise so we’re bringing that back again to our everyday home program.

As for myself, I realized that I can be patient in teaching after all as long as I can see that Miguel is being cooperative. I’m also a work in progress, I do admit that. Come to think of it, I’m not just teaching my son but I’m also learning from him.

Anyway, our pace may not be as fast as we wanted it to be but we’re getting to our goal.

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  1. It was so interesting to read your experience with different activities with concentration. My daughter is neurodivergent and struggles with sensory issues so I completely understand the challenges and the whole process.

  2. My son was also so distracted by everything! I may have to try this to see if it helps. He’s a little older now and seems to concentrate better when he’s really into something.

  3. thank you for sharing these efforts to ensure your child has an environment that helps him grow and learn ...

  4. As the saying goes, slowly but surely. So do it at your own pace or whatever works for all of you. For as long as you're getting to your goal. -LYNNDEE

  5. I know for me when I have writers block. I tend to find some distractions and surf for some ideas. I got to where I write down my ideas in a notepad on my phone if I think of some topics to write about.