Saturday, December 3, 2016

Explain Anxiety to Students Who Have Too Much

This book by Dr. & Mr. Zelinger (revised in 2014) explains using a dinosaur what is happening when anxiety becomes a problem. It is my go to book when the clinic staff refer a child to me because they are not physically sick but feel too anxious to return to class. It explains the link between the 
Children will be left with an understanding of “anxiety” consistent with their various developmental levels. Something I highlight when using this book in individual and groups sessions is the use of an on-off switch to depict the sympathetic nervous system that is carried throughout the book -- from the dinosaurs to the child who is working on the rhymes to train his or her brain. I give the student(s) a copy of the summary of the rhymes as a reminder of the strategies we have discussed. The book handles the topic in detail so I generally break it up into two or three sessions with students depending on their ability to pay attention and retain the key points.
I loan this book to parents (in one of our Family Resource Packs) so they will have the tools they need to discuss and explain anxiety issues to their children. Reading and re-reading this book with children will demystify anxiety, and provide families with the understanding needed to manage these uncomfortable emotions. 

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