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Anxiety Disorders In The Classroom Essay

2004 words - 9 pages

Anxiety can present a significant challenge in the classroom. It can take many different forms depending on its source. Determining why a child is suffering from anxiety is the first step in making sufficient accommodations. Coping skills and other anxiety treatments may present a different set of obstacles in the classroom however, adapting the learning environment to meet the needs of the anxious child contributes to their overall academic success.
Anxiety plays an important role in childhood development, these feelings of fear and apprehension caution children from attempting new or dangerous activities and situations that they may not be unable to successfully navigate (Worrywisekids.org). However, up to 24% of children experience anxiety that interferes with their daily activities (Headley & Campbell, 2013). There are several types of anxieties found in school-age children today, such as: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, and Social Phobia. Students suffering from GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) can worry about anything and everything. They constantly question “What if?” when going through basic day to day tasks, so much so that it can cause the student to become distracted from their school work (Worrywisekids.org). OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is similar to GAD because both include intrusive thoughts, but OCD includes repetitive behaviors such as: excessively washing hands, having to count pencils in their pencil box before starting any work, and tapping their writing utensil a certain amount of times before they begin using it. These rituals and compulsions can easily affect a student’s ability in school due to the fact that it is difficult for them focus because they are too busy dealing with their compulsive thoughts (Worrywisekids.org). Students with SAD (Separation Anxiety Disorder) would easily be distracted from school work due to the fact that the mere thought of being separated from their parents give them a great deal of anxiety. Social Phobia is characterized by fears of being humiliated, avoiding eye contact and conversation with others, and avoidance of anything that may bring attention to the one affected. This can impede with a student’s performance in school due to the fact that this disorder could persuade the student to get a F on something like a presentation rather than present and get a good grade or cause a student to do poorly on a group project out of fear of interacting with other students (Worrywisekids.org).
A child suffering with anxiety may complain about stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, and trouble breathing. They may also present with excessive worry, agitation, excessive concern or frequent apologizing, avoidance of others or expected activities (Worrywisekids.org). These behaviors are more internalizing. Children with special needs, such as those with autism spectrum disorders, may present more frequently with externalizing behaviors...

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