Sunday, September 20, 2015

"Overcoming Anxiety in Children and Teens" Review

I never thought of myself as an anxious person.  Sure, I worry about a lot of things, but doesn't everyone?  I remember at a therapy appointment one day, noticing that my therapist had written the word "anxiety" down in my charts, but I was sure she had made a mistake.  Then, one day, I read one of those ubiquitous facebook articles, titled something like, "Ten Things only Anxious People Will Understand."  I read it on a lark, but soon noticed I could identify with every single point made.

Maybe my therapist was onto something, after all.

As an adult with mild anxiety, I have learned strategies to deal with my worries.  Sometimes they work; other times, not so much.  Those times where my mind is racing and nothing will help, it is extremely difficult for me to get work done and function normally in society. I find myself wishing for something, anything that will turn my mind off.

Knowing that there are many children and teens out there who suffer from even more severe anxiety is a sobering thought.  How do they function at school, with their friends?

I was excited at the chance to read and review Jed Baker's latest book, "Overcoming Anxiety in Children and Teens."  This is such an important topic, one that is a major concern for many parents.  I had already read other books by Baker, who is an expert on the topic of autism, so I felt certain this book would be helpful.

"Overcoming Anxiety" is a very accessible book and easy to read.  The chapters are broken cover topics like the research and treatments for anxiety, what anxiety is and how to prepare for treatment, all things you would expect in such a book.  But what I love is that it actually provides strategies for children in dealing with their anxiety. Baker outlines strategies such as fear ladders, meditation, mindfulness activities, among others.

Another great and unique part of this book is that there is an entire chapter on how to adapt treatment for children who are less verbal and have autism.  He includes information about environmental supports and modifying sensory challenges, which are often a major concern with kids on the spectrum,

The book also covers social anxiety, selective mutism, separation anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, and so much more.  There are a lot of really interesting and easy-to-relate-to examples of ways that these issues may manifest in children.  He also includes a list of apps that can help with anxiety.

This is a must-read for anyone who works or cares for a child or teen with anxiety!    You can buy it at Future Horizons here.  We also have a copy in our lending library that people who live in Illinois can borrow.  Just call 866-436-7842.

Also, if you need help in getting the school to make accommodations or provide support for your child with anxiety, please call Family Matters at 866-436-7842.

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