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How can I help my kid who has concentration issues focus better during school?

If your child has a history of concentration issues, getting a formal evaluation to determine the cause is always a good idea. Your child may be struggling with a learning disability, ADHD, or even something like anxiety or depression, which can all affect the ability to stay on task. Learning more will help teachers, counselors, and clinicians tailor their advice to your child's strengths and weaknesses, making sure they're getting the best support possible.

As for the classroom environment, check in with the teacher for suggestions. The teacher may be able to recommend certain features that customize devices for people with disabilities. For example, the iPad's Guided Access setting prevents access to all apps except the one being used to help the user focus on one task at a time. Kids with special needs may perform better with the help of devices and apps that help keep them on track. Consider looking into productivity software that includes organization aids such as task lists and alerts (such as those in calendar programs). Also try to cut down on multitasking (switching between several devices and activities) because it affects kids' ability to focus.

If your teacher doesn't have a lot of experience with these settings or tools, ask for a recommendation of another staff member who can help (perhaps a technology coordinator or a special-needs instructor). Here are some more recommendations to try:

The Child Mind Institute contributed to this article. Learn more at

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