|        A Resource for Teachers, Clinicians, Parents, and Students by the Brain Injury Association of New York State.|
Step 1: Organize observations relevant to the problematic behavior/issue
In many cases, there are several contributors to the student’s identified problem. These contributors may interact with each other, therefore, it may be necessary to combine tests from different categories of possibilities. The existence of several interacting contributors may become obvious as you proceed through individual intervention experiments.
Attentional impairment: Some students may think and act impulsively as a result of difficulty attending (See Tutorial on Attention).
Relevant observations: The student does not maintain focus for expected periods of time or on one activity at a time. The student frequently ‘fidgets’ and may have difficulty completing tasks or comprehending tasks. The student has difficulty doing two things at once (e.g., listening to the teacher and taking notes). The student has difficulty shifting from one focus of attention to another. This behavior may interfere with the student’s ability to learn and retain information. Medical records may indicate a neurological basis for this difficulty. Note: A correlation between attention problems and impulse regulation problems may suggest that impulse regulation problems are the cause of the attention problems rather than attention problems causing impulse control problems. In either case, both problems should be addressed in intervention and support programs.
Useful experiments for assessment and intervention:
Possible referrals: Physician to explore possible neurological basis and possible medication intervention; school psychologist for assessment of attentional functioning
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