21 Hacks to Help Children Who Only Listen When Someone Makes Eye Contact with Them

Are you looking for hacks to help students who only listen when someone makes eye contact with them? If so, keep reading.

1. Separate at several points during the presentation of information to check the learner’s comprehension.

2. Praise the learner for paying attention to the source of information. Continuous eye contact is not appropriate for reinforcement.

3. 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.).

4. Praise the learner for keeping eye contact: ( a) give the learner a concrete reward (e.g., classroom privileges, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

5. Give instructions on a one-to-one basis before assigning a task.

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

7. Utilize several modalities (e.g., auditory, visual, tactile, etc.) when presenting instructions, explanations, and instructional content. Utilize the modality that is stronger for the learner.

8. Praise those students in the classroom who focus visual attention on the speaker.

9. Make the learner repeat or rephrase information heard to ascertain successful listening.

10. Place the learner near the source of information in the classroom. As the learner shows success, slowly move them farther away from the source of information.

11. Converse with the learner to explain (a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., failing to listen to directions, explanations, and instructions) and (b) what they must be doing (e.g., listening to directions, explanations, and instructions).

12. Teach and practice active listening skills. Train the learner to listen to what another person is saying and respond based on the information received.

13. Praise the learner for listening: (a) give the learner a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

14. Inform the learner what to listen for when being given instructions, receiving information, etc.

15. Orally present information that is appropriate for the learner to know to perform a task successfully.

16. Provide eye contact when delivering information to the learner. As the learner shows the capacity and ability to listen successfully, slowly decrease the amount of eye contact.

17. Draft an agreement with the learner stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., listening to instructions, keeping eye contact) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

18. Separate at several points during the presentation of information to ensure the learner is attending and keeping eye contact.

19. Urge the learner to create an understanding of the consequences of their behavior by writing down or talking through problems that may happen due to their failure to keep attention (e.g., not focusing on instructions may cause misinterpretation of a task that could lead to a lower grade and losing a place on the soccer team).

 20. Remove distracting stimuli in the learner’s immediate environment (e.g., books, writing or learning materials, personal property, etc.).

21. Consider using assistive technology designed to help students to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to concentrate. Click here to view list of assistive technology apps that we recommend.

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