Anxiety disorders in children present in different ways. Some young people show elevated levels of worries and fears, timidity about separating from parents and elevated levels of anxiety related to social situations and worries about how they will be judged and perceived by others. Anxious children may also show high levels of physiological arousal, including problems with concentration, paying attention and sitting still.
Young people whose parent/parents, or other family members suffer from an anxiety disorder, are at increased risk of developing an anxiety disorder, when compared to children whose parents do not suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Dr. O'Connor, a Toronto psychologist, provides psychological testing services for young people who are showing symptoms of anxiety. The goal of her psychological testing services is to get to "the root of the problem" and what is contributing to and maintaining it. The assessment is also part of the solution and leads to evidence based interventions to address the anxiety symptoms in the young person.
Millions of people (an estimated 15 % of the population) suffer from an anxiety disorder. And many of these are parents raising children who are, in turn, at increased risk for developing an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders run in families, thereby increasing the risk that children of parents who suffer from an anxiety disorder will also show high levels of anxiety.
A psychological assessment can help "get to the root "of the anxiety symptoms that present in a young person, and lead to evidence based interventions to address these concerns, and help build psychological resilience in the young person. Preventative strategies within the family can also help. Research indicates that positive psychological outcomes can result when helping strategies to assist the child are combined with family therapy.
Are you a parent or helping professional who is worried about anxiety disorders in children? Do you wonder if a young person is at increased risk of developing an anxiety disorder, or whether he or she currently suffers from one. Dr. O'Connor receives referrals from parents, mental health professionals and physicians who are concerned about the possibility of an anxiety disorder in a young person, and how to help. A number of these referrals come from mental health professionals who are working with an anxious parent, who is also showing concerns about signs of anxiety in their child.
"Understanding the Problem is the Key to Solving It."
Psychological testing increases understanding of the symptoms of anxiety that present in a particular child. This understanding leads to evidence based interventions to address these concerns in the child. Psychological Testing can increase understanding of anxiety disorders in children, and how to help.
Psychological Testing also explores how a child is coping when a parent suffers from an anxiety disorder, and whether or not he or she is showing signs of anxiety, as well. Find out where things are going well and where you might need to intervene to help?
Various standardized measures, informal screening tools, behavioral rating scales and informal measures, such as drawings and play based interviews are used to assess anxiety disorders in children. What measures or procedures are most appropriate depend on the child, and his or her individual needs. Not all of these measures will apply to each case. Some of those that are typically used by Dr. O'Connor include:
Sometimes, it is important to incorporate neuropsychological assessment measures, as well as learning and academic measures, within the anxiety based assessment. Symptoms of anxiety often reflect brain/behavior relationships, and must be explored to help develop effective interventions to assist with anxiety related concerns.
Similarly, anxiety can contribute to various neurocognitive weaknesses, for example, problems with executive control, as well as related problems, such as difficulties with attention, concentration, and working memory. These in turn inhibit the child's ability to learn and function effectively at school.
Following the assessment, Dr. O’Connor scores, interprets and summarizes the information gleaned from the various assessment procedures.
She then integrates this information into a comprehensive written summary report. This includes her interpretation and summary of the test findings and practical, effective solutions to help with anxiety disorders in children. These recommendations also include strategies to promote positive outcomes in children, and encourage healthy coping behaviors.
Recommendations will also integrate understanding of the child's strengths and "what works " with a particular child.
O’Connor's report includes a summary of the child’s strengths and
needs, an overview of Dr. O’Connor’s view of the problem,
recommendations to address it and options for further exploration. If appropriate, she will also refer the child and/or his family to relevant resources that can provide further support and understanding about how to help the anxious child.
To find out more about Dr. O'Connor's psychological testing services, and how they can help you, help an anxious child, click here.
You can also ask Dr. O’Connor a question about anxiety disorders in children.
To learn more about child anxiety disorders, for example, treatment options and how to help, click here.
To learn about child anxiety and when it becomes a problem, or risk factors and causes, click here.
Order Dr. O’Connor’s book--"I Can Be Me”. Although this book focuses on children of alcoholic parents, you can easily adapt it to help children of anxious parents. Guidelines for doing so are included in the introduction.
To find out more about this book, click here.