Anxiety: Hidden Disability Affects One in Eight Children

Unlike other disabling conditions like a physical disability or an obvious reading disability, anxiety disorders are often invisible. These problems are difficult for parents and teachers to detect because children will keep their anxiety and fear inside until they can no longer handle it. This leads to poor performance in school, diminished learning, and behavior problems. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, one in eight children suffer from anxiety disorders.

One sign that comes as a shock to many educators is “out of the blue” behavior. With other conditions, it’s consistency of behavior that reveals the problem, such as a child who struggles with reading being dyslexic. With anxiety, a child can be fine until they are triggered and an outburst happens. They can do well on school work one day, but barely accomplish anything the next. Studies have shown this inconsistency in performance can persist and significantly affect academic achievement.

Fortunately, anxiety isn’t entirely invisible. There are signs, and teachers can learn to recognize them. Children suffering from anxiety might try to avoid certain activities, like phy ed class or math tests, by asking to go to the nurse’s office. They may have sudden, inexplicable outbursts. Their performance might be inconsistent – excellent one day, the next day hardly accomplishing anything. Teachers who recognize these signs can intervene and get the child the assistance they need.

The Huffington Post – Anxiety: The Hidden Disability That Affects One In Eight Children