Once a child is diagnosed with a specific anxiety disorder, you may need to make changes to instructional strategies or modifications in order to help children accomplish academic goals.
Some examples of these are:
- If you don’t have one already in your classroom, post a daily schedule that can be easily seen by students. That way, students can be prepared for what’s coming next in the day.
- Do your best to stick to a consistent schedule. Children with anxiety typically do best with structure and routine.
- Be respectful of boundaries. If a child is really not ready to do something that triggers anxiety, do not force them.
- Pair anxious children with peers that are more confident and self-assured.
- Provide a quiet and relaxing area for the student to go when they are having a tough time.
- Break up tasks into smaller chunks. Children with anxiety can feel overwhelmed and meltdown if a task seems too daunting.
- Praise students for handling stressful situations appropriately, even if it is a small moment.
- Avoid punishing the child or having an overly negative attitude.