Level 1 (typically 0-1 years)
Children at this level are extremely distractible, their attention control is minimal and they dance between objects, people and events. Something as simple as someone moving their hand in their line of sight will distract them.
Level 2 (typically 1-2 years)
Children will focus on one task at a time of their choosing, showing signs that their attention control is improving. They do not like any intervention by adults – either verbal or visual – which can seem like they’re being stubborn. However, they are merely trying to block out all other stimuli so that they can concentrate on the task at hand.
Level 3 (typically 2-3 years)
Children start to alternate between auditory and visual stimuli, with help from adults. For example, whilst playing, if an adult gives them instructions, they will stop and shift all their attention to listen to them before switching back to the game.
Level 4 (typically 3-4 years)
Children still have to alternate between different stimuli (auditory and visual) but they can switch between the two at will. Adults no longer have to guide, showing a significant step in their attention control.
Level 5 (typically 4-5 years)
Children can now start to understand auditory instructions related to a task without needing to stop doing the task. Their attention can be divided into two channels. Their concentration span may still be short but they can now be taught in a group setting.
Level 6 (typically 5-6 years)
Auditory, visual and manipulatory channels work synonymously. Their attention control is more easily maintained as they are able to filter out unnecessary information and focus on the essential points.
Please remember these are guidelines; there is no ‘one rule fits all’ when it comes to children. If your child doesn’t seem to be at the level which is typical, they may just need your support and interaction to get there. If you are concerned then please go and seek further advice.