Offering support for students suffering from high anxiety in hopes to improve their self-confidence, reduce ​school absences and increase their communication with their parents and teachers.

The signs are not always easy to recognize

Anxiety can show itself in many ways.  Physical symptoms such as a headache, stomach ache, nausea could be a few signs that your child could be experiencing anxiety beyond the moderate amount that is usually helpful and beneficial.  Your child could start to withdrawal from family activities and often retreat to their bedroom more than usual for downtime.  If they are feeling overwhelmed, it could lead to procrastination on homework assignments, studying and other responsibilities they have.  In essence, they start to shut down out of exhaustion - mental exhaustion, then the anxiety kicks into high gear when they realize how far behind they are and start to play catch up.  As parents, we often think they our children are making up poor excuses for not completing their assignments when we know  they had ample time to do so. We sometimes think they made a poor choice in drawing, reading a novel, or engaging in some other activity they enjoy instead of being responsible.  Parents, in turn, may threaten to punish them, maybe from their cell phone, tablet, friends or a special event.  In reality, our children were instinctively doing what they needed to do to keep themselves above water, breathing, as they felt like they were drowning. 

Anxiety in the Classroom

The classroom environment could be a stressful place for some children, especially with those who suffer from high anxiety.  Should they ask a question similar to another student's question to get clarification on a problem in class?  Does the thought of them being called on in class worry them to the point where they cannot focus on the lesson? Are they afraid to ask to go to the restroom because they don't want to disturb the teacher yet they remain focused on needing to use the restroom for the entire class period? Are they afraid to approach the teacher for additional help? 

Anxiety after school

Bad mood? Tired? Irritable?  Maybe just the teenage years or could it be they had such an anxious day, it drove them to exhaustion.  Have you ever had such a trying day at work where you came home and didn't want anyone to speak to you nor did you want to be bothered at all.  Often, as parents, we don't allow our children to feel this way. We sometimes shuffle them off to sports, dance, piano, etc. or hand them a snack and have them start their homework.  For the anxious child, this could be a very difficult task. They require down time.  Anxiety, like panic attacks, can leave someone, especially our teens, exhausted even just minutes after experiencing anxious feelings.  Imagine having those feelings all day and having to push forward through Algebra honors, biology or English class.

Teachers and Guidance Counselors can help!

Our teachers spend a great deal of time with our children.  If your child is showing any of the signs mentioned on this page, it would be a good idea to follow up on your suspicions with a conversation with your child's teacher.  Children with anxiety are often quiet in class and may not have any behavior issues.  It would be helpful for you to collect some information on how your child acts in the classroom.  Do they participate?  Are they quiet? Do they seem to talk with other children? Are their homework assignments complete? Do they have excuses if they are not?  This information, coupled with what you may see in your child at home, could give you a good indication that it may be time to seek help from a professional.  Not all teachers, if many, are trained in recognizing the signs of anxiety in a middle or high school student.  The guidance counselors are available for you to speak with.  Between the information you collected from the teacher about your child, the information you have received at home and the experience the school guidance counselor has, you should come to a pretty good conclusion if you have an Anxiously Gifted child.