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During your school career you’re likely to have observed one or more of your students showing difficulties with attention and activity. Or maybe one of your students recently scored high on the Attention/Activity domain in My Mind Check.

My Mind Check cannot give a diagnosis relating to your student’s attention. This is best assessed by a health professional. However, My Mind Check can tell us if your student expressed concerns about their concentration when they did the check-in. Attention relates to how students focus on day-to-day tasks and how they:

  • concentrate on a task without being distracted by their environment
  • switch attention between different tasks or components of the same task
  • maintain their concentration for sustained periods at school and home.
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Each student differs in their ability to focus and be present at any particular time and in various situations.

Some students may be able to focus on single and multiple tasks for extended periods while others may become restless and disruptive, needing breaks or frequent activity changes and explicit incentives to keep their interest.

Difficulties with attention may affect their academic progress (or stop them reaching their true potential), ability to connect with peers and school staff, engagement with co-curricular activities, confidence to try things and self-esteem.

Several factors could explain why a student might be experiencing difficulties with attention. Consider the following in your observations of students:

  • sleep
  • medical issue needing review with a GP
  • anxiety
  • adjustment to change (for example, parent separation; new home, school or teachers)
  • mood
  • ADHD or a specific learning disorder
Candid portrait of three boys in school playground with arms around each other

Fact sheets

ADHD and youth mental health

Provides an overview of ADHD, including symptoms and co-ocurring disorders, treatment and medication for young people

12-25 years

ADHD in children

Information on symptoms, assessment, treatment and tips for supporting children with ADHD
5-18 years

ADHD information for secondary school students

Information on strengths, evidence-based strategies, practice tips and curriculum considerations for secondary school students
11-18 years

ADHD information for primary school students

Information on strengths, evidence-based strategies, practice tips and curriculum considerations for secondary school students
5-12 years

Programs

There are several evidence-based programs that can assist children and young people with their attention, leading to improvements in their everyday life.

ADHD for Parents

Short course (5 hours) which aims to support parents and carers of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Referral required
No

Costs
Free

School age

ParentWorks

An online program for parents and caregivers which teaches them skills to manage challenging child behaviours

Referral required
No

Costs
Free

2-17 years

Triple P | Positive Parenting Program

An online program which provides parents and caregivers with a toolkit of strategies, skills and knowledge to create a closer bond with their child and support their learning, development and emotional wellbeing

Referral required
No

Costs
Free

0-12 years

Service finders

If you are seeking support for a student’s attention/activity concerns, use these service finders to explore what services may be appropriate.

Head to Health

Provides resources to help your student understand and manage what they’re feeling and connect them to mental health support

Headspace

Find a headspace centre for your student. Headspace centres are located throughout Australia and are staffed with people who are trained and ready to help

Headspace Regional Phone Counselling Service

Provides support to students living in areas with less accessibility to mental health services by providing digital mental health support via credentialled clinicians during school hours

Find a GP (General Practitioner)

Find a GP suitable for your student’s needs, with options to search for bulk billing practices, opening hours, access needs, and location

Find a Psychologist

Find a psychologist suitable for your student’s needs, with options to search by issue and location. Your student may wish to see a GP prior to making an appointment with a psychologist, to gain a referral or Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) from the GP