Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Anxiety issues

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Joined: Aug 07, 2008
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Posted Aug 07, 2008 at 9:55:42 PM
Subject: Anxiety issues

I am just about to begin homeschooling my 10 yr old daughter. She has been diagnosed ld, add. Has been in school up to now and getting pretty good help there, but I believe she is about 1-2 yrs behind (but not according to her report card) My goal is to help her catch up and be ready for high school.

The specific problem I am concerned with is her anxiety when presented with new things. She has had extreme anxiety issues in the past (phobia, panic attacks) but they are pretty much under control now. But when anyone tries to teach her something new, if she doesn't understand it immediately she just shuts down. We hear a lot of 'I don't know' 'I don't get it' 'I can't do it' and I see her body tensing, she wrings her hands and holds her breath. It is possible that there is some manipulation of me involved (that's what the school thinks) but I am not convinced. And how damaging to her if I accuse her of manipulating me if she is truly anxious!

If anyone has any suggestions how to tell the difference or how to deal with this I would love to hear it. I am searching for a program to systematically work on self-esteem as I believe this will help, too. Anyway, thanks for any help you can give me.


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Joined Jul 11, 2005
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Posted:Aug 07, 2008 11:44:55 PM

You might look into CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). This is supposed to be the best type of therapy for people with anxiety disorders. It works on helping change the way they think about things. It also helps build skills for dealing with the anxiety.

My dd used to be the same way. She'd freeze up, chew her fingers, say "I can't" or "I already know that" (even if she didn't). We worked a lot on that at home but also used medication to help her with the worst. It will take time to get her over that anxiety but if you are patient, help her build skills and confidence, then it will get easier. Try to find inventive ways for her to learn new material. Things that will engage and encourage her curiosity.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Joined Aug 12, 2008
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Posted:Aug 12, 2008 8:00:34 PM

I also would look into therapy for her and also understand that often times our children do/can pick up on our own anxiety about something.
I think when she begins wringing her hands and such begin by staying calm and asking her questions like, how she is feeling and what is going on...?
I am wondering also if changing the modality of the teaching would help by allowing for the teaching to be more child led vs. you "teaching" and providing all the "lessons".
I too pulled my two boys from PS at ages 11 and 8. My 11 yo suffered from Anxiety which I noticed became increasingly worse so I brought him to a neuropscyh and he has been dx with GAD (General Anxiety Disorder). So I am pretty familiar with the panic attacks, etc...(not that all people have these).
One thing I found that really helped us was to learn how he needed to learn through learning styles and also to be a bit more relaxed about the whole process. I have noticed this has helped incredibly.
from (another) Tracey :)

Tracey Desrochers

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Joined Oct 20, 2008
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Posted:Oct 20, 2008 5:33:36 PM

I find when teaching students with anxiety, it is best to model staying calm as often as possible, encourage them in unlimited amounts, and find every opportunity to make them laugh and feel relaxed in the environment they are in.

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