Many of the blogs that others have written have been about dealing with “identified” children or persons; but what about the “unidentified” child? How about the child that falls through the cracks because he or she is not as disruptive as others in school? Issues are not addressed by teachers because the child gets ‘okay’ grades.
This often leaves the parents dealing with all of the issues, and because nobody else has raised concern, the uneducated parent (in dealing with learning disabilities) may just think they have a sensitive child.
I am one of these parents, and until someone educated me, I tried (and often still try) to ease anxieties by avoiding situations that may cause anxiety. Unfortunately this often led to a child running a house. Something I did not even realize I was letting this happen. Decisions were made based on how my son would react, and whether I wanted to deal with the drama.
Add on top of that, parents who are divorced, and do not agree that outside help is needed. Getting my son the help that is needed has been difficult, but he is finally on a waiting list to get further assistance.
I have read many articles and attended seminars about learning disabilities, to try and educate myself. There are definitely anxiety issues, but I do not know if there is anything beyond that. Maybe it is just behavioural, because I feed into his anxiety, and allow him to manipulate me. At least I understand that I am allowing this, and am trying to change, but it is difficult to change a routine to which you have become accustomed (much like the dieter who cannot say no to doughnuts brought into work, or grabbing fast food for lunch because it is easier than taking the time to make something.) It is hard to see your child constantly unhappy, and not want to do something (or not make him do something), that may add to that unhappiness. It is heart wrenching to think that your decisions are the cause of your child’s grief or sorrow, but just as unhealthy to the child, to simply avoid situations that may cause stress or anxiety.
Since my son has yet to be diagnosed, I cannot say for sure that he suffers from an anxiety disorder. There may be more to it than anxiety. Or, as I hinted earlier, it may just be learned behaviour or maybe some combination of the above. Whatever the case, I feel that it is important to take the precautions necessary to help my son deal with life. I’ve been opposed to medication in the past, but can see that in many cases, it can help an individual calm down enough to learn the effective strategies necessary to cope with daily life and its ultimate turmoils.
An anxiety disorder can simply be stated as any worry that is out of control, and children with anxiety can appear oppositional or irritable because they are distracted by their worries. They can also be explosive, moody or tearful.
Here are some of the signs of anxiety disorder:
- Reoccurring stomach aches, headaches
- Shortness of breath, racing heart
- Resistance to participating in social activities
- Fear of deviating from a regular routine
- Tantrums or moodiness right before a specific event
- Exaggerated negative thoughts about future events
- “Clinginess” – always wanting proximity to a parent
- Whining/crying when uncomfortable with people, routines and/or situations
I offer the above list to other parents who may be dealing with these symptoms and not realize or understand that there may be an issue. I’m not necessarily saying that I want my child labeled, but I do want to give him every opportunity to succeed. I now realize that going the extra step to get professional help (which could even include medication) could quite possibly give him the extra edge he needs to be successful in life.