Helpful information for teachers:

  1. Anxiety disorders can cause students to feel distressed, scared, and nervous in the classroom which makes it difficult for students to participate in class and get their school work completed. It may causes poor relationships with peers and teachers as well.
  2. Students with mental health conditions and/or having difficulties within their personal and home life may start missing a lot of school days, tardy to class, and may avoid school altogether.
  3. It can be difficult for you as teachers to provide quality one on one time with students on a daily basis as well as managing disruptive behaviors in the classroom. A key point is to understand that all behavior is purposeful, meaning that a student(s) are not just “a naughty kid(s)” or “lazy”. A good way to address this is to get into the mentality of “what’s going on with you” instead of “what’s wrong with you”. A helpful way to address this is to pull the student aside and calming ask if everything is ok or if they need specific help in something.
  4. Communicate your observations and concerns with parents

Parents: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

  1. If your child is struggling, communicate your concerns, observations, and diagnosis with their teacher.
  2. If you are worried about confidentiality, have an conversation with the teacher about your concerns and remind them that this information is to be kept confidential.
  3. Knowledge is power
    • Teachers care about your child on an academic level and personal level. Communicating your child’s struggles, will help the teacher understand what is going on with the child, be more understanding and can provide “check ins”. This creates a safe place and person for the child.
  4. Depending on what you are comfortable with helpful information to communicate to your child’s teacher may be:
    • If there is a change within the family unity: a death, divorce, birth of a sibling, a new relative moving in/out, parents going on vacation, etc.
    • Behaviors you are seeing at home
    • Mental and chronic physical health diagnosis

Would your child/student benefit from a 504 Plan?

  1. A 504 Plan is a written plan to accommodate a child who is struggling emotionally, educationally, or has a disability to ensure they have access and resources to assist learning in the classroom. The goal for a 504 plan is for students to be educated in regular classrooms along with services, accommodations, or educational aids they may need. If students with a 504 plan cannot achieve academic success, as is determined by the school, then alternative settings in the school or private programs can be considered.
    • Examples for a 504 plan:
      • Extended work time on assignments
      • Behavioral Management support
      • A quiet place for a student to work and/or test
      • Modified textbook or audio-video materials
      • Adjusted class schedules
      • Verbal testing
      • Excused lateness, absence or missed classwork
      • Pre-approved nurse office visits and accompaniment to visit
      • Preferential seating
    • If you feel as though your child may benefit from a 504 plan, please contact your schools teacher, guidance counselor and/or principle.

Signs that your student is struggling emotionally:

  1. Avoiding certain situations and/or assignments
  2. Missing school/late to school
  3. Not wanting to go home
  4. Very Self-conscious
  5. Difficulty concentrating in class and/or completing classwork
  6. Easily angered
  7. Excessive Tearfulness
  8. Display physical symptoms such as:
    • Trembling hands or legs
    • Upset stomach
    • Begins to sweat
    • Racing heart
    • Faster breathing
    • Tense muscles

Common Anxiety Disorders that affect kids and teens are:

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    • Students worry excessively in many different situations, majority of the time. They may start demonstrating physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, frequent bathroom breaks, muscle tension and tiredness.
    • Social Anxiety:
      • These students have an intense fear of being judged, observed, and performing/talking in front of others. The student will avoid situations that they feel they could be embarrassed, humiliated, lead to rejection from others, or offend others such as reading out loud, asking questions, meeting new people or performing.
    • Panic Disorder:
      • Some students may have panic attacks which are an abrupt surge of intense fear/discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and demonstrate any of the following physical symptoms:
        • Palpitations, high heart rate
        • Sweating
        • Shaking
        • Shortness of breath
        • Feelings of choking
        • Chest pain/discomfort
        • Nausea or abdominal distress
        • Feeling dizzy, light headed, unsteady or faint
        • Chills or heat sensations
        • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or Depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
        • Fear of losing control
        • Fear of dying
    • Separation Anxiety
      • It is normal for babies and very young children to have some separation anxiety when they are apart from their caregiver or parent. However, if this is recurrent and causes excessive distress, students may have a difficult time coming to school. These students may have excessive worry about losing major attachment figures, persistent worry about being alone, reluctance or refusal to leave the home, etc.
    • Phobias
      • A phobia is an intense fear or anxiety about a specific object of situation. A student with a phobia will go to great lengths to avoid their fear.
    • Selective Mutism
      • Some student may be too fearful to talk at all in certain situations. These students have the ability to talk and can talk very well however may be too fearful to speak in situations outside their home or with people they are not comfortable with.

To schedule an appointment with one of our Behavioral Health providers, please call 712.722.8222