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Anxiety in children and how to spot it!

Updated: Sep 18, 2018

What is anxiety and is it normal in children.

Most people are aware of anxiety and anxiety disorder in adults but often don't realise it can be present in children as well.  Often, this anxiety can be misdiagnosed as bad behaviour, tantrums and meltdowns. Tantrums are quite common in two year old children.  It is this time in a child's life where their vocabulary is limited and they find it hard communicating what is frustrating them.  Once the child has reached the age of three, tantrums should be subsiding.  However, if tantrums are continuing, this may be a sign of anxiety.  The majority of children learn how to cope with stresses which bring on tantrums.  Others may need some assistance and this is where an Occupational Therapist comes in.

What to look out for and how to observe anxiety in children.

Over reaction and large emotional responses to trivial matters can also be a sign of anxiety in children. Children who are anxious are generally highly stressed and are in 'survival mode'.  They generally don't have tolerance to basic tasks and may demonstrate a fight or flight mode when challenged.  Children may be violent at times or run away as a coping mechanism. 

How Occupational Therapy can help.

In Sync Kids Occupational Therapy does a full development assessment to determine  the underlying causes of the anxiety  It could be due to delayed skills or not age appropriate emotional regulation   At In Sync Kids Occupational Therapy, the Occupational Therapist can develop skills if not age appropriate or provide strategies to help increase confidence and assist with coping better during overwhelming experiences.  For more information or to book an assessment, contact us today.

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