Happy Learners - Attention Milestones

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Attention Milestones

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.


Development of Attention

12 months

Fleeting attention

Attends to dominant stimulus in room

24 months

Rigid attention

Attends to the own preferred stimulus

36 months

Single channelled attention

Can follow adult direction but needs to stop own activity

48 months

Focussing attention

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

5 years

Two channelled attention

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

6 years

Integrated attention

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


You may also find the following pages useful:

Expressive Language Milestones

Receptive Language Milestones

Social Interaction and Play Milestones