Nearly 4.5 million American children live with an anxiety diagnosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Along with ADHD, behavioral problems, and depression, anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders for those aged 2 to 17. Chances are also high that a child with anxiety may have another of the common mental disorders in addition to the primary diagnosis. Yet only about 60% of children with anxiety receive treatment.
The team at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic in Palo Alto, California specializes in children’s anxiety treatment. Every child is different, making personalized treatment the most effective way to minimize the effects of anxiety on their daily lives. Led by Dr. Richard Abbey, the Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic team evaluates your child with evidence-based assessment tools to aid in tracking the progress your child makes through their own customized treatment plan.
Understanding your child’s anxiety
It’s a big, scary world sometimes, and it’s natural for children to have certain anxieties along the path to adulthood. Young children may experience distress when away from their parents, for example, even when they’re with other familiar people and are well cared for.
However, when your child doesn’t outgrow their worries, or when fears accumulate to the point where they interfere with play, school, or home life, your child could have an anxiety disorder. These can stem from common childhood worries that don’t pass naturally, or they may develop independently. Childhood fears and worries that might develop or combine into anxiety disorders can include:
- Separation anxiety
- Social anxiety: being around people
- General anxiety: excessive worry about bad things happening, whether reasonable or not
- Physical symptoms of anxiety such as breathing trouble, elevated heart rate, or shaking
Maintaining your child’s physical health can sometimes play a role in managing emotions. A healthy diet and an active lifestyle provide benefits for people of all ages, and fine tuning your child’s lifestyle to improve conditions could help them overcome minor anxieties.
In addition, a healthy sleep cycle not only helps your child reset and recover, but the routine of a regular bedtime can both ground and reassure them that all is well, providing them with an emotional “safe haven.” Creating a routine around storytelling and reading also provides a break from worry.
Evaluating your child’s condition
When your child’s fears and worries interfere with their daily lives, your first step needs to be an anxiety assessment with Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic. Evidence-based assessment tools for children’s anxiety are well-studied and in common use. These tools help to explore your child’s current condition, as well as providing signposts of progress over the course of treatment.
Treatment plans themselves use a variety of modalities, including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Neurovisual training
- Family therapy
When you have concerns about anxiety or any other potential mental disorder your child may experience, or even if you simply want to explore training that may prevent anxiety issues while improving everyday performance in school and other activities, contact Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic. You can reach the clinic by phone at 650-215-6840 or by sending us a message online.