All children have attention, it's just that where they place their priority may not be at the same priority level as the person requesting his attention. The reason for this lack of ability to "attend" to what's requested is almost always due to specific neurological processing challenges. Disorganized, compromised and weakened neurological systemsespecially the vestibular system (inner ear system)can create a myriad of issues which will result in the child being OVERLOADED with sensory information (touch, smell, sight, audible and cognitive). Unless and until the neurological system(s) being overloaded is dealt with by the child's protective mechanisms (e.g., a bright light affecting the visual system that requires the child to wear a visor in school), the child CANNOT attend (focus) on any other stimuli (e.g. homework, listening to a teacher, etc.).
Many children who have this sensory overload problem also have had a history of ear infections. There's a direct correlation: ear infections can compromise the vestibular system (inner ear system). That system is foundational to many other neurological systems, so if it isn't working properly, the rest of the neurological functioning is stressed. The "hyperactivity" is one of the ways the body will stimulate the vestibular system so the child CAN pay attention. "Sit still and listen" is an oxymoron.
Solutions The solution to Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is part neurological repair, part dietary/lifestyle change. Drugs will stimulate processing so that processing is sped up and therefore the child can "attend" again, but using drugs doesn't solve the root problem, and nasty side-effects are common. The HANDLE Institute, in Seattle, Washington, has developed an effective drug-free comprehensive evaluation and treatment programtailored to each individualthat treats the root problem. They coined the phrase "Attentional Priority Disorder" and they're the best of the best. Eliminating from the diet all foods that contain any synthetic additives whatsoever, along with sugar and aspartame, is required if you want maximum success. Eating only organic food at home, taking green supplements and consuming two tablespoons of flax seed oil per day (for its omega 3 fatty acids) is very strongly encouraged.