A: We actually do work on attention while we focus on the different executive functions.
First let’s look at a few different kinds of attention:
- Selective attention – this is where attention is paid only to the most important information available. We choose what to focus on – sights, sounds, smells, taste or feel – whatever is most important. This means paying less attention to or ignoring other things.
- Sustained attention – this is where we sustain or continue paying attention.
- Shifting attention – this is where we move our attention from one thing to another. It’s really important when we have to keep a few things in mind at the same time. We have to move our focus from one thing to another.
When we work on executive functions, we’re working on all types of attention.
Take inhibitory control for example, children have to focus on just the most important things. At the same time, they have to ignore things that aren’t important. This takes selective attention, sustained attention, and sometimes, shifting attention.
When planning and organizing, children have to pay attention to just the most important things, keep their focus while making their plan, and shift their attention from one item to the next.
As you can see, attention is an important focus to our approach. But it’s integrated into the total program rather than being worked on separately.