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Attention & Behavior

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Problems with attention and behavior problems are what happens when a person is not engaged in the activity we want them to be engaged in. There are many reasons why a person is acting out or has trouble attending: vision problems, motor issues, auditory issues, nutrition, allergy, emotional issues, anxiety, chemical imbalances, inappropriate learning environment, inappropriate demands, brain injury and medical and developmental reasons. There are other possibilities as well. We do not encourage the addition or the termination of medications. We encourage parents to keep looking for the why these problems exist. And the why might be a number of things, not just one thing.

Because vision is so highly represented in the brain it is likely there is a visual component. It is the also the most accessible system we have to train behavior. One very common problem for the person having difficulty paying attention is that they also have a reduced functional visual field. When the functional visual field is constricted a person is unable to hold visual attention on detail while maintaining a sense of the context in which it is held and that makes it difficult to do many things well: social mistakes are made, it is difficult to read, concentration is difficult, sometimes concentration is so absolute that it is hard to break free from a task.

We know how to expand the field of attention. If the functional field is constricted, we start there. In the context of visual training we set up conditions for the individual to learn how to pay attention, to redirect attention when it is lost, and to be able to self-direct in an environment filled with distractions.