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Supporting Children, Families With Anxiety Issues

Introduction

  • Anxiety is a major challenge affecting most children and families in the UK.
  • It is a condition where an individual’s normal emotional wholesome changes at different stages or times in his/her life.
  • It is closely related to fear.
  • It is also connected with projected fear of something.
  • Terms such as shy, nervous and among others describes the various levels of anxiety.
  • It is difficult for a care giver to identify anxiety in a child. This owes to the fact that a child lack expressive skills to express his/her emotions. This makes some of them to develop defiant behaviors.
  • In supporting anxiety in children, a care giver is important. He/she is able to assist a child cope up with the disorder through provision of effective coping strategies

A description of how the need could/should be identified using the latest research findings

  • Research indicates that anxiety is a normal child development pattern; it is exhibited differently as the child grows older.
  • Research also provides a clear intervention strategy through means such as; identification and treatment plans (Haworth & Hart, 2012). This approach has helped a child reduce the negative impact of anxiety disorder on a social functioning perspective.
  • Research provides screening and assessment techniques for diagnosing anxiety among the children.

Need Based Screening and assessment

  • Critical in supporting children with anxiety disorder.
  • It helps a care giver differentiates developmental and transitory appropriate fears and worries of anxiety during evaluation process of a child (Connolly & Nanayakkara, 2009).
  • A care giver assesses the impact of traumas on the maintenance of symptoms.
  • It identifies fears such as; loud noises and normal separation in children. This is because children often experience fear of darkness and imaginary creatures and worries among other fears.
  • Fears may have physical and psychological impact on the child growth and development.
  • Using screening and assessment, the care giver assesses family background or history (Nauert, 2008). This assist him/her identify environmental, parenting styles and reinforcement triggers of anxiety in children.
  • Self-reporting strategies for anxiety during assessment such as; Screen for Child Anxiety-Related Disorder, (SCARED) and Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children, (MASC) assist a care giver diagnose anxiety symptoms at baseline and monitor preventive responses in a child.

Measures to be undertaken to meet need based on actual treatment modalities

  • To support children with this disorder, a care giver routinely screen a child for anxiety, collect information from the child, parent and teacher, assess for comorbid disorder and evaluate the functional and severity impairment (American Psychiatric Association, 2008).
  • Information collected from the child helps a care giver assess severity of anxiety because the child herself/himself is more aware of his/her inner distress;
  • Teachers are skilled at observing the social functioning in relation to same age group/peers; the information they provide is important in assessing the child level of anxiety.
  • Parents stay with the child; thus, their information in regard to the child character is important for the care giver to assess the disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2008).
  • To meet the modalities available in complimentary therapy, a care giver should begin with psychotherapy on a child showing signs of mild anxiety. On a child showing moderate anxiety, a care giver should combine medication treatment and psychotherapy (Brady & Kendall, 1992). This is also useful when treating comorbid disorder.

Conclusion

  • Anxiety in a child is difficult to identify. This is because a child does not know how to express his/her feelings.
  • When a child shows signs such as; being tense, shy, nervous, and cautious and worry, a care giver should initiate screening to determine anxiety symptoms. This is because early screening help decrease the medical interventions.
  • Also, a care giver should assess somatic symptoms. This can help reduce confusion when a child is later subjected to medication.

References

American Psychiatric Association 1994, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC

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Brady, E and Kendall, PC 1992, Comorbidity of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents. Psychol Bull, Vol111. Pp. 244–255.

Connolly, D and Nanayakkara, SD 2009, Anxiety Disorder in Children and Adolescents. Web.

Haworth, J and Hart, G 2012, Wellbeing Individual, community and social perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan, London

Nauert, R 2008, Identify and Treat Child Anxiety Disorders. Web.

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