How to Get an Autistic Child to Focus

How to Get an Autistic Child to Focus

Children with autism face unique challenges when it comes to focusing.

This is because autistic children find it hard to discern what is relevant, so attention is often focused on irrelevant stimuli.

In addition, these children with "special needs" tend to withdraw into their inner worlds in a much more intense manner than is common for daydreaming.

They can be overactive, lack focus, and sometimes cause disruption to others due to their behavior.

However, this doesn't have to be the case, though.

With careful planning and adequate support for autism, you will be able to get an autistic child to focus with ease.

To get an autistic youngster to concentrate, the first step is to eliminate any distractions.

Consider the factors that may lead a child with autism to become distracted and eliminate them.

Using exercise as a means to release pent-up energy is another effective way to get an autistic child to focus.

When you are under stress or have a lot on your mind, it is easy to become preoccupied with your thoughts and quickly sidetracked.

Also, assisting a child with autism to focus requires making sure they have a quiet and conducive place to focus.

Read on to learn more ways to get an autistic child to focus.

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Heather Comensky, LPC

Heather Comensky, LPC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Stephanie Kol, LPCC

Stephanie Kol, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Melissa Johnston, LPC

Melissa Johnston, LPC

(720) 449-4121
Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Katherine (Kate) Taylor, MBA, MA, LPC

Katherine (Kate) Taylor, MBA, MA, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Derek Bonds, LPC

Derek Bonds, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Emily Murphy, LPC

Emily Murphy, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Katie Bennett, LPCC

Katie Bennett, LPCC

(719) 345-2424

Remove all Distractions 

Do what you can to eliminate any potential interruptions for the autistic child.

It's crucial to find a quiet spot to sit and get some work done.

For instance, to get an autistic child to concentrate while at home, there should be no distractions such as the television, radio or music.

Even if only the light of the television is on or there is any background noise, even if it is muted, it may distract the child.

Since most children with autism have trouble processing sensory information, they may mistake the sounds from the television in the next room for your voice.

Also, ensure that they can't be distracted by other people going about in the house.

You can achieve this by setting up a secluded area for the child when you need them to focus on something.

It's possible that the child's concentration levels would improve if you placed their seat near a calming sensory area. 

Make Time for Exercise to Release Pent-Up Energy 

Research shows that physical activity and sports engagement enhance cognitive abilities, including focus and attention.

Taking short, active breaks during the day can do wonders for concentration.

Give them a break from their normal routine so they may go out and get some exercise.

Ensure that the child has as many physical activity options as possible.

You could suggest that they go for a stroll, do some stretching, or perform some jumping jacks.

Their mind will appreciate the increased blood flow from physical activity.

Aerobic exercise of sufficient intensity has been demonstrated to increase cognitive performance and attention, and concentration in children.

Some other forms of physical activities include having them help out around the house, walking to school, or playing a sport of their choice.

Motivating autistic children to take part in sports will contribute immensely to improving their focus. 

Repeat Instructions 

Get the child's attention before trying to conduct a conversation with them.

Be sure to get a reaction from the autistic child before engaging in conversation.

Many autistic children are unable to recognize their names, so it's possible that they don't hear you when you call them the first time.

There are a lot of things competing for their attention, so wait until you have their attention before making any requests.

Another way to get them to focus is by reminding them of the importance of the job at hand by repeating what you want them to perform.

It's possible that they won't catch all you say the first time around, so repetition is useful.

You should always be specific in your directions or instructions, so they know what you expect of them.

You can accomplish this by using fewer words and repeating important terms to keep your child's attention.

Choose the Appropriate Setting 

Autistic children function better in a conducive environment.

Place the autistic child in a serene, pleasant setting to help them concentrate better.

Make an effort to carve out a workspace that is secluded from the rest of the house but still comfortable and appealing.

The child will get better results from practicing in the same spot every day.

Consult the child when choosing a study spot, whether it's a secluded corner of the bedroom or a designated nook in the living room.

Keep electronic devices like laptops, cell phones, and tablets, and toys out of sight.

Selecting the right environment can make a difference in being able to get an autistic child to focus.

Take Note of Sensory Issues 

Some kids with ASD have issues processing sensory information.

Children with ASD not only have difficulties with social and verbal development but also typically have unique reactions to sensory inputs.

For instance, some features of fluorescent lighting hinder learning and productivity for nearly everyone, especially children on the autism spectrum.

Therefore, the child can pay more attention to irrelevant stimuli than the activity at hand.

Strategies to relax and focus the child by relieving their overloaded senses can be introduced in such instances.

A child's anxiety can be reduced, and their focus improved through sensory integration.

If you can figure out what is making them overwhelmed or anxious and give them ways to calm down, you could keep them from being too distracted to focus.


There are many ways to get an autistic child-focused, and the key is to find out what works for them

Assisting them by providing support for autism will improve their level of focus.

Some ways to get an autistic child to focus include removing all distractions, making time for exercise and mobility to release pent-up energy, repeating instructions, choosing the appropriate setting, and taking note of sensory issues.


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February 28th, 2024

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