Asking your child to be focused throughout an entire listening and spoken language lesson can be a challenge, and telepractice lessons, which are increasingly becoming part of the ‘new norm’, have their own unique distractions.

Hear and Say’s Occupational Therapist, Leisa Chapman, shares some insights and tips for helping children to be calm, settled and focussed during their telepractice lesson.

Speech Pathologist With Child

Tip 1: The Surrounding Environment

An ideal learning environment is a familiar, uncluttered and well-ventilated space that doesn’t have distracting background noise. It is great to have a table and chair set up with additional space for movement for your child.

Tip 2: Sitting Position When at a Table

Having supported seating and good posture assists children in paying attention. Whether your child is at a small table and chair or seated at an adult-sized table, it’s important they are at the right height for the table, have their feet supported and are sitting up straight with their bottom pushed back in the chair.

Tip 3: Positions When Sitting on the Floor 

These different positions can be useful for children who need the opportunity to move during the lesson.

Tip 4: Opportunities To Move

Giving your child the chance to move around, both before and during a lesson, can be useful in assisting them to settle and be ready for learning. Some useful opportunities for breaks to move may include:

  • Playing outside or jumping on a trampoline prior to the lesson
  • Doing a yoga session prior to the lesson, such as ‘Cosmic Kids’ on YouTube
  • Jogging or marching/stomping on the spot
  • Doing star jumps or lunges
  • Throwing and catching a ball, soft toy or small bean bag
  • Playing with Play-Doh – especially pushing, squeezing and rolling
  • Clapping games, such as ‘Pat-A-Cake’

Tip 5: Having a Pre-lesson Snack

Certain foods can help children to become more alert. Snacks that are chewy or crunchy can help, such as celery, carrots, apples or crackers. Drinking thick liquids such as smoothies or yoghurt through a wide straw can also assist.

Tip 6: Have a Water Bottle Handy

Drinking from a suction water bottle can also assist children to adjust their alertness level. You can also plan small breaks in the session to have a drink when needed.

If you have concerns regarding your child’s attention or activity level, please contact us to find out more about our Occupational Therapy services.

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