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Attention Skills and Risk of Developing Learning Difficulties

Abstract

Attention is a heterogeneous function, composed of different components involved in acquiring and developing all cognitive and behavioural skills. Attentive difficulties, such as insufficient or inadequate control of the stream of occurring stimuli, have been linked to impairment in executive functions, impulsive behavioral style, academic failure, and difficulties in basic scholastic skills, such as reading and writing. Moreover, specific Learning Disabilities often occur along with and/or complicated by problems in attention. Considering that prerequisites of school learning evolve early in childhood, the overall goal of this study is to investigate the relationships between attention skills and the risk of developing learning difficulties. Specifically, this study attempts to contribute to better identification of the role of the attention measures in the early detection of risk signs of developing learning difficulties. Research has been conducted through a computerized battery to assess attention and an observational questionnaire aimed at identifying the risk of developing learning difficulties. The study examined a sample of preschoolers. The results showed that different components of attention, such as visual selectivity and reaction times, are diversely involved in the risk of developing learning difficulties and in the prerequisite of school learning.

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Correspondence to Elena Commodari.

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Commodari, E. Attention Skills and Risk of Developing Learning Difficulties. Curr Psychol 31, 17–34 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-012-9128-3

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Keywords

  • Attention
  • Risk of Learning Disabilities
  • Assessment