My 9-year-old son has trouble comprehending the material he’s being taught at school. His teachers say he’s not focused and loses concentration easily. We’ve tested his vision and hearing, and also did an auditory-processing test; everything has come back fine. I feel helpless. Do you have any advice?


It’s possible a learning disability is affecting your son’s ability to focus and concentrate. Assessments are usually available through the school system, although there is often a long waiting list. Some people opt to have their children assessed in private clinics for this reason.

A lack of focus and concentration can also be a sign of other psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression or attention deficit disorder (ADD). A comprehensive assessment will investigate both learning difficulties and psychological problems. Once you understand the source of his difficulties, you can seek appropriate help, including coaching in learning strategies or therapy.

Written by Dr Ruwa Sabbagh. Originally published in Today’s Parent, July 2009.

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