Jayne Demsky

The Anxiety Institue Explains How To Help Your Acutely Anxious Child

School avoidance families will be nodding in agreement and appreciation when reading this series of information from Anxiety Institute Co-Founder Linda Geiger.

In addition to being the CEO of a leading school avoidance treatment program, Linda is also a mother who lived through the trauma of her son’s school avoidance.

Linda addresses the fundamental questions and answers we all seek but can never find.

HOW THE HECK DO WE COMMUNICATE WITH, HANDLE AND HELP OUR SEVERELY ANXIOUS KIDS IN OUR HOME WITHOUT FALLING APART OURSELVES???

In this article, she covers:

  • Parenting your anxious child is often a traumatic experience for both parent and child.
  • The lesson we need to absorb rapidly is that standard parenting techniques won’t help your acutely anxious child.
  • Transitioning from Accommodation to Support
  • IDEAS is a simple five-step process I refined through trial and error to engage with my son and guide him when his acute anxiety symptoms manifested themselves.
  • Additional communication guidelines you should bear in mind when talking to your acutely anxious child.
This image was provided courtesy of Linda Geiger, Anxiety Institue,
IDEAS, framework, a simple five-step process developed by Linda to engage with her son and guide him when his acute anxiety symptoms manifested themselves.

Parenting your anxious child is often a traumatic experience for both parent and child.

It is a frustrating, maddening, and heartbreaking endeavor that often generates parental discord and family dysfunction. Moreover, it can set parents against each other as their contrasting styles come into stark conflict. Usually, one parent exhibits a more disciplinary approach, while the other is more understanding and permissive. However, with an acutely anxious child, neither strategy works.

Jayne Demsky
Author: Jayne Demsky

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Unfortunately only a small percentage of school professionals, therapists, educational advocates and policy makers understand school avoidance best practices. So, you must become the expert to ensure your child is getting:

  • Appropriate mental health treatment
  • School assistance without punitive responses (truancy, failing, grade retention)
  • Educated regardless of their school avoidance
  • A 504 plan or IEP if needed (many school avoidant kids qualify)

The time passing slowly without progress is the worst feeling. It wouldn’t have taken five years of suffering and uncertainty if I had this expert guidance during my son’s school avoidance. We would have saved $29,000 in lawyer fees and $69,000 for private schools.

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