Any tips for a 5 almost 6 year old boy with severe anxiety issues?

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My son is 6 with severe anxiety and ADHD. It is hard to see our children struggle. My advise to you is to seek help for your son with a child psychiatrist or play therapist. Keep looking if you can't find it. Also, anxiety is a genetic disease. It is not your fault, but you can help your son. Medications can help. Zoloft has helped my son with his tics and helped him keep the anxiety to a manageable level.

Tips:

Speak in a calm voice. As soon as you raise your voice, their anxiety goes through the roof and you loose any control you hope to have.

If he looses control, give him space. Let him have his tantrum for a couple of minutes before you intervene. Then calmly say that it is time to get it under control. Give him a time limit if needed.

Create a safe place for him. A tent in his bedroom or somewhere where he can go when overwhelmed.

Pay attention to what overwhelms him. For my son it can be loud noises and lights. Trips to the grocery store can be overwhelming, so I keep them short if possible and I prepare myself mentally to be able to handle him if he acts out.

Kids with anxiety issues act out to escape from the situation that is causing their anxiety. Be conscious of it. It is ok to hold your child accountable for their behavior, but be aware of WHY they are acting out. Talk to your child when they are calm and have them help you problem solve ways to handle those situations.

If your son has an ADHD diagnosis, have the school begin evaluations when he starts kindergarten. You are going to find, as I did, that he will become overwhelmed in the noisy, stimulating environment of kindergarten and will act out to try to escape what he is feeling. If you can push for your school to evaluate for special ed, then your child can get the help and support he will need in school. I am going through that process with my son right now. He is in 1st grade.

Good luck to you. You are your child's best advocate. Don't give up.

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Angela - posted on 12/31/2009

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hi sara

my son has adhd and is in the process of being diagnosed with aspergers syndrome

i have read/viewed so much literature on these beautiful kids with anxiety issues- and im hoping that i can help you.

i have found that 'fidget toys' can help little ones in these 'high stress' times

eg. my son has a very hard time in assembly and mat times at school- its really hard for a little one with attention/hyperactivity and sensory issues to sit still in such a stimulatory environment- so ive been recommended that we allow him to use a 'stress ball' (you know those little smooshy balls that you sqeeze in times of stress) while he is in those situations.

in a recent conference i attended- the lecturer asked us- 'if you tell a child with adhd "sit still" his/her brain is saying 'move, move, move' so its our job to channel that into an appropriate 'movement, ie- their hands sqeezing a stress ball.

a lot of your little boy's anxiety could possibly come from him knowing that he's different and from his inability to cope in high pressure situations.

my advice to you would be to keep him in a very strict and predictatble routine- use clocks and time to show changes in routine/situation, watch his diet, and just to appreciate what a truly special little boy you have!

i hope at least some of this helps! lots of luck!!!!

Sara - posted on 12/26/2009

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Thanks. They have started him in special ed already. I pushed for that last month and he started this month. He started a second ADHD med and it seems to help alittle but we are going to a pyschiatrist next month to help with the anxiety.

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