How to Treat Anxiety Disorders in Preschoolers

Instructions for Teachers

1.

Make contact with the child's therapist and parents. Form a team with the therapist so you are all on the same page. The child's parents can tell you certain things the therapist can't, and the child's therapist can do the same.

2.

Be patient and sensitive. A child with anxiety disorder is different from an adult with anxiety disorder. The child is not yet fully developed intellectually and emotionally, so anxiety can often be a chaotic experience. Give the child extra time if he or she needs it, and take a flexible approach to the student.

3.

Observe child for physical sickness. If the child looks sick or begins vomiting, have a game plan and keep the rest of the class calm.

4.

Develop your relationship with the child. This might take a while, especially because you don't want to appear to favor the child over the other children, but serve as a mentor, worthy of respect. If the child trusts his or her teacher and sees the teacher as comforting, this might help the child pay attention better and have a better school experience.

5.

If you believe one of your preschoolers has an undiagnosed anxiety disorder related to the child's home life, contact a social worker. Look for physical signs of abuse and listen for hints from the child. Many children have extremely difficult home lives, and social workers are wonderful assets to child development.

Instructions for Parents

1.

Observe and identify symptoms such as being stressed out, easily distracted, unable to make decisions or learning more slowly than other children. These are all emotional symptoms. The child might also throw up, have an increased blood pressure and diarrhea. If you have even the slightest suspicion of an anxiety disorder, take action.

2.

Take your child to a child psychiatrist. This might be a painful thing to endure as a parent, but you want to make sure your child's development isn't disturbed by anxiety. The psychiatrist will identify what kind of anxiety disorder, if any, your child has, telling you how to act accordingly.

3.

Provide comfort and consistency to your child while he or she is at home. Keep things quiet, keep arguments with your spouse or with the preschooler's siblings to a minimum and provide an overall comfortable and loving environment.

4.

Make sure your child gets the proper treatment---takes medicine on time every day, attends every doctor visit, completes proper exercises, etc. Progress might be slow, but progress is being made. Be patient and dedicated to your child's treatment.

Anxiety disorders in preschoolers typically have two components: physical sensations like headaches, sweating and nausea, and emotional sensations like nervousness and fear, according to Keep Kids Healthy. Anxiety in children can slow the developmental process of the child and affect the child's thought process, ability to make decisions, concentration and learning. It can physically take a toll on children, too, often raising blood pressure and causing nausea, ulcers, diarrhea, throwing up and more. Treating a preschooler with anxiety must be done by a trained professional, but there are certain things you can do to help the child deal with the disorder, whether you're a teacher, day care supervisor or any care-giver