What is attention?

Attention is fundamental to cognitive development and social relationships, and plays an important role in maintaining mental health.

Children with attention problems struggle to focus their mind on a task, to listen, to absorb information or to control impulsive behaviours and emotional outbursts. This can impact other aspects of their lives—at school, home, in social situations and, eventually, their academic achievement and employment opportunities.

Attention can be thought of as a broad term that describes the different processes we use to actively understand our environments. There are a number of types of attention, with the most common areas being Selective Attention, Sustained Attention and Executive Attention.


  • Selective attention parents

    Selective Attention

    Selective attention is the ability to orient your attention to specific objects in the environment that are relevant to your task.

  • Sustained attention parents

    Sustained Attention

    Sustained Attention is the ability to maintain an alert state and focus on a task.

  • Executive attention parents

    Executive Attention

    Executive attention is the ability to regulate our responses and refocus from one task or activity to another.

Identifying children with attention difficulties

At a behavioural level, there are three core symptoms of attention difficulties. They are:

Symptoms of attention difficulties  - impulsivity


Talking over the top of others, having a ‘short fuse’, being accident-prone, destroying things in moments of anger and impatient in waiting their turn.

Symptoms of attention difficulties - inattention


Difficulty concentrating, forgetting instructions, moving from one task to another without completing anything, difficulty with organising instructions.

Symptoms of attention difficulties - inattention
Symptoms of attention difficulties - hyperactivity ADHD


Constant restlessness, always on the move, inability to sit still, fidgeting, excessive talking and acting without thinking.

How can TALi help?

TALi's digital therapeutic programs provide fun, quick and easy to use attention screening tests and access to early interventions for children at the peak of their neuroplasticity.


  • TALi DETECT attention assessment tablet iPad app download


    TALi DETECT is a 20-30 minute
    evidence-based digital screening program comprised of cognitive performance tasks to determine how a child’s attention skills are developing against their peers.

  • TALi TRAIN attention training tablet iPad app download


    TALi TRAIN is a digital cognitive training program that has been clinically tested and indicated to improve selective attention and numeracy skills, as well as improvements in inattentive and hyperactive behaviour in some children.

Did you know that your child may be eligible for NDIS support even if they don’t have a diagnosis?

If your child is aged zero to six and has a developmental delay or disability, they may be able to receive support from the NDIS.

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    TALi DETECT was developed under the Cooperative Research Centres Program (CRC-P) from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.*

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    Official Google for Education Partner

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    Registered NDIS Provider: 4050030967

*Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) Grants provide funding for short-term research collaborations. It supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community with the aim of fostering high quality research to solve industry-identified problems.