Attention describes many skills, including being able to concentrate for a long time, being able to stay focussed on one task without being distracted, being able to divide your attention between multiple tasks (e.g., listening while completing an activity), and being able to switch your attention between different ideas (e.g., shifting your thinking to a new task or activity easily).
Many children with disabilities or developmental disorders may have challenges with attention. This includes children with intellectual disability, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and autism spectrum disorder.
Each child is unique, and the type of challenges they have with attention will vary. For example, some kids may be able to concentrate on a single activity for a long time, but may have difficulty dividing their attention between two tasks. Another child may have difficulty concentrating for a long time and require frequent breaks or change of activities to keep them interested.
It is important that coaches think about the way they plan activities and communicate instructions to support participation.