Pay Attention! Attention Training for Children Ages 4-10


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by Jennifer Thomson and Kimberly Kerns

Pediatric version of the Attention Process Training Program has therapeutic activities on attention for children and students with traumatic brain injury, ADD, ADHD, and brain tumours.

Full Description

This is a pediatric attention training programme that is modelled after the Attention Process Training (APT) programme developed by Sohlberg and Mateer. This new second edition features an expanded manual, updated review of research studies, and additional attention activities.

Designed for children (ages 4-10) with attentional processing problems, activities are designed to systematically increase the child’s ability to sustain, select, divide, and alternate attention using a variety of hierarchical tasks designed for this age range and cognitive levels.

The manual includes:

  • studies of attention training in adults & children
  • detailed administration instructions for all activities
  • pre-tests for younger children or children with 21 activites
  • suspected cognitive impairment
  • complete text of audio CDsscoresheets and worksheets

Pay Attention! comes in a sturdy carrying case with...

  • 80 page manual in a 3 ring binder
  • 3 laminated houses (8½ x 14") with 28 activities
  • 48 laminated family cards- with 20 activities
  • 4 audio CDs with 96 activities and 5 math activities
  • CD with PDF scoresheet files
  • score sheet examples
  • eraser and 2 dry marker pens
  • 3 visual distractor overlays
  • 4 response clickers

Pay Attention! can be used by cognitive rehabilitation therapists, speech and language therapists, educators, and other professionals in private practice, pediatric rehabilitation programs and schools. Research studies have demonstrated its effectiveness with children with traumatic brain injury, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, and brain tumours




The Clinical Attention Model

Studies of Attention Training in Adults

Studies of Attention Training in Children

Development and Efficacy of the Pay Attention! Materials

Utilisation of the Pay Attention! Materials with Dyslexic Children

Cognitive Rehabilitation Strategy

  • Principles of Treatment
  • Establish Baseline
  • Selection of Tasks
  • Recording and Evaluating Performance

The Pay Attention! Materials and Task Summary

  • Administration Instructions
  • Sustained Attention
  • Selective Attention
  • Alternating Attention
  • Divided Attention

Appendix A

Pre-Tests for Younger Children or Children with Suspected Cognitive Impairment

Appendix B

Complete text of CD #1 Stimuli

Appendix C

Alternating Auditory Attention Stimuli


Pay Attention! Card Sort Scoresheet (2 copies)

Pay Attention! Card Sort/Flip Scoresheet (2 copies)

Pay Attention! House Search Scoresheet (2 copies)

Pay Attention! Attention CD Scoresheet (2 copies)

Arithmetic Worksheets #1-#5 (2 copies)



The Pay Attention! children’s attention process training system is modeled after the Attention Process Training programme (Sohlberg & Mateer, 1987a & b). It includes activities appropriate to the remediation of children’s (ages 4-10) attention processing problems. The materials are designed to remediate difficulties with sustained, selective, alternating, and divided auditory and visual attention skills, as defined below.

Attention is not a unitary construct. There are several models proposed to outline the major components of attention and their underlying neurological structures (Kerns & Mateer, 1996; Mirsky, Anthony, Duncan, Ahearn, & Kellam, 1991; Posner & Peterson, 1990). Regardless of which model is adopted, most models include separable components of attention such as the ability to sustain attention over time (vigilance), the ability to attend to stimuli selectively, the ability to alternate or switch attention between two things, and the ability to divide attention so as to maintain more than one ongoing process.

Sohlberg and Mateer (1989b) suggested that attentional capacity is hierarchical, such that in order to be able to succeed in tasks that require higher levels of attention (such as alternating or dividing), lower levels of attention such as focusing and sustaining attention are necessary. The higher order aspects of attention were felt to be dependent not only on these underlying skills, but also to involve more executive abilities such as the ability to disengage attention and inhibit. Such aspects of attention are dependent on the frontal regions of the brain and begin to overlap with some of what have been termed “executive functions”.

The Clinical Attention Model (Sohlberg & Mateer, 1987)

Focused Attention...

Focused attention refers to the ability to direct one’s attention to a specific stimulus. This construct generally applies to those with disrupted levels of consciousness; e.g., patients emerging from coma who are only beginning to gain the capacity to acknowledge external stimuli. The Pay Attention! materials are not utilised for the remediation of focused attention.

Sustained Attention...

Sustained attention refers to the ability to maintain attention during continuous and repetitive activity. This construct includes the concepts of vigilance and persistence. At its highest level, sustained attention includes the ability to utilise “working memory” or “mental control,” as in one’s ability to hold information in mind and manipulate it in order to solve a problem. Sustained attention is necessary for most classroom seatwork, for example completing worksheets or reading silently.

Selective Attention...

Selective attention refers to the ability to attend to target stimuli and to inhibit responses to non-target stimuli. This construct incorporates the notion of “freedom from distractibility.” Selective attention skills are necessary, for example, for a student who must listen to a teacher while there are children playing outside.

Alternating Attention...

The ability to switch the focus of attention from one stimulus to another is the hallmark of alternating attention. This skill is necessary when one is required to stop one task and begin another, or to switch rapidly between one or more tasks. For example, alternating attention skills are needed for children changing from one task to another within a lesson.

Divided Attention...

One’s ability to utilise divided attention is demonstrated through performance of two or more tasks simultaneously. Thus, divided attention skills are needed for a student note-taker, who must listen and write at the same time.

The premise of direct intervention or process specific approaches, as applied to the treatment of attention impairments, is that the ability to attend can be improved by providing structured opportunities for exercising particular aspects of attention. Treatments have usually involved having subjects engage in a series of repetitive drills or exercises that are designed to provide opportunities for practice on tasks with increasingly greater attention demands. Repeated activation and stimulation of brain systems responsible for attention is hypothesised to facilitate changes in cognitive capacity, which presumably reflect underlying changes in neuronal activity.

Effects of training can be measured at several levels including:

  1. changes on training task performance
  2. changes in performance on untrained psychometric measures of attention, and
  3. some aspect of daily function dependent on attention capacity.
  • Model: PAYAT
  • Shipping Weight: 3kg
  • Published by: Lash & Associates

This product was added to our catalog on Friday 04 May, 2012.