Early Childhood Intervention
This website is a place for families who are facing
challenges pertaining to their child's development and
It is a place to find answers and practical
suggestions. That's what Early Intervention Support is all
Whether a family has a child with a challenging behavior,
a disability or developmental issue, childhood is short - it
should be savored and enjoyed.
Ask a Therapist
We understand developmental milestones and the challenges
of Special Needs children. We spend a great deal of time
with families understanding the inner workings of childhood
routines and interactions. Ask us about your child today!
Ask a Therapist
Behavior Tips: Attention Span
How long can your child pay attention to one activity? This
usually depends on their developmental age.
If you have unrealistic expectations of your child's attention span, it
can often lead to temper tantrums and other upsetting behavior.
Keep in mind that whether or not your child likes the actual activity, or is
sick, tired, or hungry can affect his/her attention span. Here are some
guidelines to help you understand the typical lengths of attending behaviors
in young children:
Ages 8 months - 15 months
Any new activity or event will distract your child, but they can usually
attend for one minute or a little longer to a single toy or activity.
Ages 16 months - 19 months
Your child might be restless, but is able to sustain attention to one
structured activity for 2-3 minutes. Your child might not be able to
tolerate verbal or visual interference.
Ages 20 month - 24 months
Your child is still easily distracted by sounds, but can stay attentive
to an activity either with or without an adult for 3-6 minutes.
Age 25 - 36 months
Your child can generally pay attention to a toy or other activity for 5-8
minutes. In addition, he/she can shift attention from an adult speaking to
him/her and then back to what he/she was doing if he/she is prompted to
focus her attention.
Ages 3 - 4 years
Your child can usually attend to an activity for 8-10 minutes, and then
alternate his/her total attention between the adult talking to him/her and
the activity he/she is doing independently.
More Parenting Tips Related to Behavior
Parenting Tips in Other Areas Include
Learn More About Early Intervention
Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with childhood developmental
delays and behaviors. These include in-home services, outpatient (you take
your child to a clinic), inpatient (following injury or surgery) and school
based services. Which type of therapy should you choose?
Visit our Therapy Options
area to learn more.
Return to Top