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Attention & Listening

Attention and listening is being able to listen and focus on specific tasks or sounds. A child needs to be able to focus on things around them in order to be able to learn. This is essential in learning language. Gradually a child learns to shift their focus of attention from one activity or object to another and to listen at the same time.

Good attention and listening skills help with:

  • Learning to communicate
  • All areas of learning
  • Social skills
  • Understanding language
  • Following instructions
  • Speech sounds

  • Minimise distractions – listening involves the ability to filter out distractions, it may help to remove distractions such as toys or displays from the area where you want the child to listen.

    Use a name call – if the child is busy, try calling their name before talking to them or giving them something.

    Use your voice and facial expression to keep their interest in activities – speak in a lively animated voice to make your words sound more interesting. Use lots of interesting sounds, like “Pop!” or “Whoosh!”, to get the child’s attention.

    Get down to their level – when talking to the child try and get down to their level so you’re face to face with them. This helps them to know that you are talking to them and allows them to see your face.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Norfolk & Waveney Speech & Language Therapy Service by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 


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