Attention deficits in children linked to lifelong social exclusion, Aus research finds

Attention deficits in children linked to lifelong social exclusion, Aus research finds

by Freya Lucas

June 23, 2021

Ground-breaking Australian research has found a link between children with attention deficits and ongoing impacts throughout their adolescent and adult lives in critical areas such as social inclusion and employment, presenting longer term consequences not only for the individual, but for society as a whole.

 

Conducted by TALi Health, the findings are presented in the providers latest report, Vision for Australia and confirm that attention is critical for cognitive and social development. 

 

Children with the inability to focus on tasks, absorb information and control emotional outbursts can experience detrimental impacts in other areas of their lives including education, social inclusion, relationships, general wellbeing and employment. 

 

The report also links inattention in children to mood disorders including depression and anxiety, negative impacts on the education system and future links to financial burdens including loss of income and unemployment. 

 

Childhood attention deficits remain a significant and growing concern with over 40,000 children in Australia starting school with attention deficits, neuroscience expert and TALi Chief Scientist, Dr Azadeh Feizpour said. 

 

The causes of inattention are multi-faceted, with the early signs often missed, causing detrimental impacts, he continued. 

 

“Children living in regional and rural parts of Australia with attention vulnerabilities face many challenges and it is vitally important to gain insight into their needs, earlier on in life,” Dr Feizpour continued.  

 

“This is not just a social issue but also an economic issue with attention vulnerabilities including ADHD and dyslexia imposing a significant risk on the economy and Australian population.” 

 

As a result of the Vision for Australia report showing an urgent need to address the problem of inattention in early childhood, TALi Health Managing Director Glenn Smith believes attention assessments should be made mandatory for all young children prior to starting school.

 

“Now is the time for our Government to address cognitive performance in young children at a grassroots level,” he said. “It is imperative to provide universal access to attention assessments and training and it needs to be of equal priority to reading and writing. Addressing attention vulnerabilities should be explicitly taught during early childhood.”

 

To read the report, please see here. For more information about TALi Health please see here.

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