Oh, if only it were a straight line between the cause and effects of childhood anxiety, life would be “easier.” Although, parenting a child who is struggling, despite the reason, is never easy. The tough thing about anxiety is that it rarely presents itself in obvious ways, in children or in adults. Difficulty with emotional regulation, challenging behavior, and even sensory issues all have the ability to mask the underlying anxiety a child may feel. Furthermore, just to keep things interesting, a child may have emotional, social or developmental differences that present as anxious behavior. Parents, teachers, and caregivers yearn to connect the dots and find a concrete answer or diagnosis.
Increased awareness of childhood anxiety, combined with medical studies, and better education for parents and teachers make red flags more identifiable than in previous generations. The more we know, the less frightening it seems and the stronger families feel to help their child. The pediatric occupational therapists at Zier Institute focus on the health of the entire family. From our initial evaluation to implementation of a treatment plan, we believe the more the family understands and participates, the more successful an intervention will be.
THIS article is packed with great information about how anxiety often manifests itself in a variety of emotional and physical ways. We are huge advocates for early intervention and giving children tools to help manage their emotions. Read something that resonates with your child’s behavior? Zier Institute is here to help.