Attention Milestones

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Attention Milestones

Introduction

All children develop at different rates and so reaching milestones slower or faster than peers does not necessarily mean that there is a concern. Differences of up to 12 months are very normal. However, it can help to identify areas where a child may warrant some additional support particularly when more than 18 months off a chronological milestone.

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Development of Attention

12 months

Fleeting attention
Attends to dominant stimulus in room

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24 months

Rigid attention
Attends to the own preferred stimulus

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36 months

Single channelled attention
Can follow adult direction but needs to stop own activity

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48 months

Focussing attention
Can switch attention between tasks but needs to attend completely to each

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5 years

Two channelled attention
The auditory and visual inputs are integrated sufficiently to enable child to do one task and understand an instruction.

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6 years

Integrated attention
Complete integration of auditory and visual inputs so that two channelled attention is possible in a variety of contexts.

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7 years and older

Children with immature attention skills beyond the age of 7 years should be identified by their schools and are likely to benefit from additional strategies to manage and support their learning needs.

You may also find the following pages useful:

Expressive Language Milestones

Receptive Language Milestones

Social Interaction and Play Milestones

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