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Anxiety Disorder Among Children and Ways to Prevent It

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The challenge of anxiety disorder is, first of all, in recognizing it. One might be suspicious of its presence by frequent or on-going worry, nervousness, fear or panic. Anxiety disorder is a common illness these days. Anxiety disorder is characterized by one’s inner feelings, it is a state of worry or fear about upcoming events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms such as fast heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, and nausea. There are four types of anxiety disorders; panic disorders, phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder. According to Canadian Mental Health Association, “approximately 10-20% Canadians are affected by an anxiety disorder, and 1 out of every 5 children have an anxiety disorder in Canada. 49% of Canadians who are affected by anxiety disorder don’t receive undergoing treatment. 50% affected Canadians allow themselves to go back to their regular lives, after this state or period of time is over.

The causes of anxiety disorder, as we know can be all or one of three categories:

  • Genetic or Familial Factor

According to Learn Genetics, a particular diseases or disorder runs in your family. Risk factors are passed down from parents to children. This type of behavior is found in the family who carry anxiety disorder. Every gene contributes in a way to all symptoms.

  • Physiological

The psychological factor refers to our thought, beliefs, and perceptions about our experiences and our environment. Research has identified four important variables of psychological vulnerability to anxiety; perceived control (our ability to controls stressful events), cognitive distortions errors we make in our thinking, cognitive beliefs our core beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.

  • Environmental

This might include stressful events, particularly between other family members or caregivers. There might be issues between two caregivers regarding children. The child might not like his or her environment at the now place, and face problems to fit in with other children. The environmental factors may include; abuse, a death of a family member or someone close, and a change in school or home.

Consequently, children experiencing an anxiety disorder may have difficulties while sleeping due to nightmares. While he or she does some unfamiliar activities the child gets mild headaches or unbearable stomach aches. If the child is not happy with his or her work, they tear it up and do the activity several times. While in a group discussion he or she do not participate due to sacredness.

Several types of research (in Australia) have shown ways to help children with anxiety disorder to cope with daily expectations in a childcare program. The teacher can teach the child to label feeling through role play or stories. Acting out and identifying feelings, staying calm when the child became anxious about a particular or provoking situation. When the child faces anxiety, let the child learn how to reduce, it naturally. The teacher can modify the environment for the child by making a cozy area for him or her, so they can plan out simple activities so the child can complete their activity within the time provided or enough time, there should be minimum distractions, use of visuals, and timers. The teacher should avoid taking the child duty.

It is important to have a strong communication between parent and the child caregivers about the most effective ways to help their child who has suffered from anxiety disorder. Here are some strategies to include the child with anxiety disorder in a childcare program.

Help the child to reduce anxiety while talking about a simple situation, do breathing exercise and stretches to reduce the child’s anxiety, the educator should break down the class into small groups so the child can complete their task. The educator should take time to speak with the child privately, calmly, and precisely, and meet with the child’s parents or caregivers regarding the actions that could be taken at home. The child-care program may encourage the student to self – advocate for his or her needs appropriately. Let the child know as a teacher you are proud of his or her efforts.

Parents and teachers can make the goals to reduce anxiety. They should meet with the family doctor or with social agencies to provide notices of changes or improvement of the child.

Finally, in addition for all strategies we took above childcare facilities, to be equipped with tools and equipment that take into consideration the need of children, this equipment would include items that should be available in the place corridors and walkways.

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