Are you interested in the possibility of improving the visual attention skills of a young (5-7 years) child under your care? You may want to try our innovative new web-based Visual Attention Exercise. The exercise is fun and enjoyable to the child, but at the same time provides a valuable opportunity for improving attentional skills. It measures and analyzes key characteristics of the child’s visual attention, and determines whether the child might benefit from repeating the exercise. Reports are automatically generated that document the findings, and indicate whether or not there might be improvement of attentional skills with repeated use. The Exercise is an outgrowth of more than thirty years of visual attention research by our Psychologist (more), and it can be effective in improving attentional skills that can enhance learning. The Exercise is administered directly from this web page. We recommend that you use a laptop or other computer, since it has not yet been optimized for use with mobile devices. The Exercise can be started using the simple form below.
What to expect. The Exercise takes the form of a sequence of visual displays, and the individual is provided a choice. The choice is made by selecting one of the two or more visual elements presented on the screen. Each time a correct choice is made, the screen flashes to provide positive feedback. Throughout the session the individual can also keep track of a posted score (indicating the number of correct choices) as a reward. A sophisticated multiple assessment technique is employed, which provides an innovative and sensitive measure of several key visual attention characteristics. The results are automatically analyzed to assess those characteristics, and a printable report is generated that not only documents and analyzes the findings, but also indicates whether repeating the Exercise would be beneficial. The report addresses three main areas:
Learning Efficiency - determines how quickly the child attends to the relevant features of visual material.
Attention Durability - determines the extent to which attention to relevant visual cues is disrupted when complex educational material is presented.
Attention Focus - identifies the ease with which attention can be directed to relevant features in the visual environment, which is important for learning complex material.
In general, the Exercise has been designed for children in the 5-7 year range, but it can provide valuable information for individuals of any age. Although it is fully self-contained, there are ways you can make it even more effective for young children in particular. We have found, for example, that it can be beneficial to offer a simple verbal praise (“Good!”) when the screen flashes after each correct response, and to say or do nothing if an error occurs. We have also found it can be effective to tell the child at the beginning that s/he will be earning points, and will have an opportunity at the end to trade them for a reward, like a snack, small toy, or recreational item. This will make the score even more reinforcing, and encourage the child to continue to the end of the Exercise (typically about 10 minutes).