FROM WILLIAM: I just finished working with a wonderful boy, here in our Son-Rise Program Intensive playroom. One of his main challenges was attention span, it was very short.
During my time with him, he was isming pretty strongly – sitting at the table that was covered with an assortment of different objects. A plastic plate, three or four figurines, bells, a harmonica, a piece of red ribbon, a hair band, etc. His ism consisted of picking up an object, tapping it on the side or top of the table, putting it down and then picking up another object to tapping with. He did this over and over again while also blowing on a kazoo that made a whizzing sound.
As I joined him he would occasionally look up at me and then back down and continue tapping. I would celebrate his eye contact and then go back to tapping and gently blowing on my pretend kazoo – this continued for quite a while. At one point I decide to hold on celebrating as my first response when he looked at me and instead to just do anything that I thought would be fun and possibly interesting to him. So the next time he looked at me I blow the kazoo out of my mouth and across the room. He just continued to look at me. I ran and got the kazoo and blow it across the room again. He continued to look and then went back to isming. I stopped building and went back and joined him. A few minutes later he looks up again and I do the same thing – with a lot of fun I blow the kazoo out of my mouth and across the room. He continued to look and I continued to have fun blowing the kazoo across the room. We continued this dance between him isming and him watching me be silly as I blow the kazoo and other objects across the room. Gradually he stayed looking longer, smiling at times and acting excited, especially when I started throwing cuddly toys across the room.
Because his attention span was so short I simply worked on him looking at me, so all I did was give him something to look at.
Be fun, be silly, act crazy, enjoy yourself…give your child something interesting to look at or to interact with you around. (Note: Asking them a question is not being interesting – it’s asking them to be interesting for you!!)
Love and smiles