Attention & Memory Accommodations

by Sandra Rief

See Sandra’s books for much more on these topics.

  • Provide preferential seating (e.g., closer to teacher, near positive role model(s).
  • Stand near student when giving directions or presenting lessons.
  • Reduce/minimize distractions (visual, auditory, spatial, movement).
  • Provide study carrel/office area for seat work.
  • Provide privacy boards/other partitions for seat work/test-taking.
  • Use visual/graphic depictions of routines, procedures, steps.
  • Reduce auditory distractions through use of tools (earphones).
  • Reduce noise level in room.
  • Reduce clutter in environment – especially in direct visual field.
  • Seat away from high traffic areas, windows and doors.
  • Add color to increase focus on work (e.g., colored poster board under student’s work on desk, highlighting key words).
  • Use eye contact and voice modulation to maintain attention.
  • Avoid interruptions in classroom routine.
  • Establish a calm, predictable environment.
  • Increase use of signals to increase attention to and alert students of approaching transitions, changes of routine, and so forth.
  • Vary the method of lesson presentation.
  • Increase use of partner/buddy throughout the day to help focus attention to task, check understanding of directions, assist with recording of assignments on assignment calendar/planner, and so forth.
  • Provide tasks/tests in segments so student turns in one segment before receiving the next part.
  • Label, highlight, underline, and add color to important parts of tasks.
  • Provide memory aids such as number lines, pictures, tables/charts, formulas.
  • Have student repeat directions, restate in his/her own words.
  • Give both oral and visual instructions for assignments.
  • Increase incentives (e.g., earn points/rewards) for on-task behavior.
  • Use mnemonics and association strategies to aid with memory.
  • Use melody and rhythm to help with memory of information.
  • Significantly increase opportunities for review and practice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ©2012, Sandra Rief