Anxiety Disorders

1Children and adolescents who struggle with anxiety related to their academic efforts may have undiagnosed learning difficulties that are affecting their well-being. They may need a comprehensive assessment to determine their areas of strength and weakness and provide recommendations for treatment to help them succeed in their school, home, and social environments.

These assessments include the areas of general cognitive and information processing (i.e. intellectual abilities) and academic functioning. Results of these assessments are compared to see how well the child/teen is performing given his or her areas of cognitive strength and weakness. Assessment measures are also completed by the parent, teacher, and student to assess areas of emotional (e.g. anxiety) or social difficulty. Testing for attention and/or memory difficulties can also be completed during this process.

During these assessment sessions, students will sit at a table with the clinician while they complete each activity. They will use an iPad, will write in various workbooks, and answer questions that the clinician may ask. Some of the activities are challenging while others are easier. Many students find most of the activities to be enjoyable. Breaks are taken whenever necessary. Clinicians strive to ensure the process is a positive experience for the student. Students are welcome to bring a comfort toy/stuffed animal to the session if its use will not be distracting.

COVID-19 Note: Children and adolescents with typical academic functioning may be experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19. Their academic lives have been turned upside down as they have switched to online learning. Their home environments have likely changed significantly, as parents may be trying to work from home as well. Children may need extra parental support with online learning, while parents may not be able to provide it as they are struggling to complete their work online as well. Parents may have lost their jobs, which increases stress levels in the home. Furthermore, children's and teen's social relationships have been altered as they can no longer see their friends in person. The information children may see on television, as well as the information they gather through altered family interactions, represent an increased sense of uncertainty for the foreseeable future.  All these simultaneous changes in the home environment may cause new forms of stress. Children and teens may react by regressing to earlier stages of development or by exhibiting increased emotional and behavioral difficulties. StepStone is available to help individuals and their families during this time via a HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing platform. Also, please see StepStone's BLOG for COVID- 19 information and age-appropriate ways to talk to your children.


Photo by Austin Pacheco on Unsplash

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