Children’s Chiropractic Centre Blog

“Help! My child won’t pay attention, sit still, focus and learn!”

Posted by Dr Amanda Watson on 21-Jul-2021 10:00:00


Attention is a complex brain skill that begins to develop from around 4 years old, and really establishes as a neural ability from around 6 years old.

It is a common phrase we hear from many parents and teachers alike that a child may have troubles sitting still, giving their attention and focusing!

In this blog we’ll explore why “paying attention” is no easy feat and what factors may affect your child’s ability (or inability) to pay attention, focus and potentially impact learning outcomes.

There is much more involved than simply telling a child/person to “just pay attention!”


It requires a number of brain areas to activate and work together with clear signalling and sustained firing! There are many types of attention however the area many parents and teachers report a child is having trouble with is focused attention.

Focused attention requires areas of the brain at the top and bottom, back and front, and left and right sides to effectively connect and work well. Attention is a complex brain process and can be affected by a number internal + external stressors.

These stressors include:

  1. Gut dysfunction (poor microbiome, leaky gut and malabsorption issues), food sensitivities or intolerances and iron deficiency can affect the gut and brain’s ability to produce optimal neurotransmitters (clever brain messengers!).
    These factors can also create significant inflammation within the gut, bloodstream and systems of the body including the nervous system.
  2. Body inflammation and metabolic stress can affect nervous system firing and nerve health.
Brain development attention is a higher brain skill that begins to develop from about 4 years of age after many other areas of earlier development have established. As the ‘pieces’ of the brain development ‘puzzle’ fall together over the time from in-utero, infancy and toddlerhood, a child’s cortex (big brain) ‘comes online’ ready for learning.


Early development pillars

Early development pillars of gross and fine motor milestone attainment, primitive reflex integration, strong posture tone and good postural reflex firing set the foundation for optimal brain readiness for learning, focus and attention.

When a child is having trouble with these abilities there may be challenges with the above areas of development, which create background noise in their brain, poor posture, instability (balance and coordination issues) and energy inefficiency with how they use their body.

With some or all of this going on below the surface (unconsciously) it can be very difficult for a child to be able to concentrate, pay attention and learn.

At Australian Children's Chiropractic Centre we assess many areas of your child’s brain's function

With our Well Kids assessments, we can help you understand brain development factors that may be disrupting normal/optimal function that may also play a role in your child’s challenges with attention and learning.

When we assess a child’s neurodevelopment we consider their brain and body as a whole, and determine any cofactors involved with why they may be having trouble paying attention!

To learn more about your child’s ability to pay attention and whether there are any stressors affecting normal function which could also play a role in making attention difficult you can have your child assessed with one of our experienced Chiropractors.

Have your child assessed with one of our Chiropractors

Book a Chiropractic Consult


If you would like to get some questions answered first;
we offer a FREE 15 min phone consult with our Chiropractors!

To book a time that works for you, simply click on the link below:

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Topics: Health, spine, School, Physical Development, Preschool Children

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