The University of British Columbia developed 2 questions in screening kids for anxiety disorders:
1) Is your child more shy or anxious than other children his or her age?
2) Is your child more worried than other children his or her age?
When children start school they are typically screened for hearing, vision, and reading disorders but not mental health disorders. Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness diagnosed in children.
The questions were tested among 200 kindergarten children and were found to be 85% effective in diagnosing an anxiety disorder. A third question was tested, but the two listed previously were the most effective.
The purpose of developing a way to screen children was to identify these anxiety disorders young. By identifying them earlier they are treated earlier creating less problems in the future.
The University of British Columbia stated four ways to help kids learn to cope with anxiety:
1) Help kids identify when they feel anxious
This might be through associating colors with feelings such as red for anger and blue for worry or anxiety.
2) Teach kids techniques to manage anxiety and what works best for them
Different techniques work for different people. Techniques include relaxation, deep breathing or maybe even talking.
3) Help kids identify what situations or stressors bring up their anxiety
Being aware is the most important when learning to handle anxiety.
4) Teach kids to face those fears
Teach them to have confidence in managing their worries and fears.
How do you help your child deal with worry and fears?
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