20 Ways to Help Kids Who Ignore Their Peers

Are you looking for ways to help students who do ignore their peers? If so, keep reading.

1. Teach and practice information-gathering skills (e.g., listen carefully, write down essential points, ask for clarification, wait until all information is presented before starting a task, etc.).

2. Minimize the occurrence of situations that may contribute to difficulty keeping attention (e.g., timed learning activities, competition, long meetings, etc.).

3. Give the student frequent chances to meet new people.

4. Praise the students in the classroom who listen to what other students are saying.

5. Take the student away from the situation when they have difficulty listening to others (e.g., at a school assembly, at a school play, when a guest speaker is present, etc.) until they can demonstrate self-control and listen to what others are saying.

6. Plan chances for peer interaction at times when the student is most likely to keep attention (e.g., one hour after medication, 45 minutes after lunch, first thing in the morning, etc.).

7. Teach the student to respect others and what they are saying by respecting the student and what they say.

8. Praise the student for listening to what other students are saying based on the duration of time the student can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the number of times or duration of time required to listen.

9. Train the student to sit near the source of information to enable their capacity and ability to keep attention.

10. Make sure the student is paying attention to what other students are saying (e.g., making eye contact, stopping other learning activities, responding appropriately, etc.).

11. Converse with the student before going to a learning experience (e.g., school assembly, school play, field trip, etc.) and remind the student of the importance of listening to what others are saying.

12. Teach active listening skills. Give chances for the student to listen to what another person is saying and respond based on information received.

13. Teach and practice efficient communication skills. These skills include listening, keeping eye contact, and positive body language.

14. Praise the student for listening (e.g., making eye contact, putting aside learning materials, answering the students, etc.) to what is said to them by other students: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., classroom privileges, passing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

15. Teach the student listening skills: • Separate working. • Clear desk of nonessential learning materials. • Attend to the source of information. • Jot down essential points. • Ask for clarification. • Wait until all instructions are received before beginning.

16. Treat the student with respect. Talk objectively at all times.

17. Converse with the student to explain (a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., failing to listen to what other students are saying) and (b) what they must be doing (e.g., listening to other students when they speak to him/her, listening to other students when they speak to a group, etc.).

18. Read this article that we wrote on developing listening comprehension skills.

19. Read this article that we wrote explaining why verbal comprehension skills are important to academic success.

20. Read this article that we wrote on what you should do when your child struggles with verbal comprehension

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