"My Kid Can't Pay Attention - Must Be ADHD" (Not So Fast)

March 19, 2021

Every week I hear an array of  concerns regarding distractibility and inattentiveness.

Beyond the immediate assumption that the child has ADHD/ADD (in other words a neurological disorder),  I do my best to broaden the narrative and review other factors to consider that maybe contributing to why a child is not paying attention consistently.

Some to consider that are commonly in the “soup pot”:

  • Perhaps the work is too hard.
  • Perhaps the child is playing video games far too late in the evening and not getting enough sleep.
  • Maybe there’s been a lot of tension and fighting in the family that is unsettling to the child, contributing to a sense of distractibility.
  • Perhaps the teacher is not motivating.
  • Perhaps the child is being flooded by too many worksheets (or its on-line equivalent), leaving the child feeling disconnected and unmotivated.
  • Perhaps the child has significant reading problems, making it difficult to pay attention and comprehend.
  • Perhaps there is a lot of distraction in the environment (whether it be an actual classroom or at home), and the atmosphere does not lend itself to paying attention.
  • Perhaps the child is obsessed (addicted?) to playing video games, leaving little in the “mental tank” for sustained mental effort.
  • Perhaps the schoolwork is just overly dull and overly boring.
  • Maybe the child is struggling with anxiety and the excessive worrying looks like inattention.
  • Perhaps the child is feeling like she may have social issues as she goes on TikTok and Instagram and sees her friends and she’s not included.
  • Maybe the child has been made fun of or ridiculed, but no one really knows of it other than the child.

There are many more such as these, but these are some of the ones that readily come to mind when considering why a child may be inattentive.

Sure, he/she may also be ADHD/ADD, but make sure you go through a checklist to see what else may be contributing to the inattention.

Copyright, 2021 www.shutdownlearner.com
Questions or topics email Dr. Selznick.  Not in the South Jersey area? For a free 15 Minute Consultation, contact Dr. Selznick: email – rselznick615@gmail.com.


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