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Workbooks ideal for students with concentration issues adapted for Maltese market

The workbooks, ideal for students with concentration issues or ADHD, are a first for Malta. Photos: Jonathan Borg

The workbooks, ideal for students with concentration issues or ADHD, are a first for Malta. Photos: Jonathan Borg

With life becoming more distracting for young children, a local publisher has adapted two workbooks that are ideal for students with concentration issues or ADHD – a first for Malta.

Children are nowadays constantly bombarded with information, distracted by new technology and a fast-paced life, and in some cases, family issues, Claudine Slater, who adapted the books, told this newspaper.

All of this weighs on children’s minds and distracts them, so they have to learn to ground themselves and concentrate on the here and now, she added.

The books, called Nitgħallem Nikkonċentra (learning to concentrate), originally by French therapist and stress-management expert Florence Vertanessian de Boissoudy, are being published locally by Merlin Publishers.

They consist of simple concentration exercises for children and concise, clear notes for adults.

Mindfulness helps children learn to be more patient and tolerant

The carefully planned activities aim to help children pay more attention to the task at hand, become better able to develop ideas without distraction, concentrate for a longer period and improve their memories.

Over the past 24 years as a classroom teacher, Ms Slater has noticed that students have grown more distracted. This is where mindfulness – a concept that is gaining currency worldwide – proves its value.

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment, and research shows that people who live in the here and now lead a more serene life, Ms Slater said. It also helps children learn to be more patient and tolerant.

The workbooks have just been launched in Malta, and some parents have already started using them with their children.

The fact that the books are in Maltese is of great help to the mother of an eight-year-old who is wary of English.

Her son is dyslexic and has ADHD, and the mother has al-ready noticed an improvement in his creativity.

Through the activities in the workbooks, he has learnt how to better use his senses.

The woman noted that the activities can be done outdoors, not just at home, and the workbooks keep her son intrigued. And since the activities do not need pen and paper, her son does not feel discouraged from seeing the exercises through.

She said she has also seen an emotional improvement in her son. His attitude towards school is more positive: he seems more confident and has in fact read out a sentence in English in front of the whole class, while previously he would not even lift up his hand to participate.

“For parents”: some local parents have already started using the books with their children.“For parents”: some local parents have already started using the books with their children.

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