Title

De-Mystifying Childhood Anxiety Disorders: A Three Step Intervention Approach

Location

Percival

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The proposal relates to the Mental Health and Social and Emotional Skills strands due to the following criteria: The presentation teaches about the clinical symptomology of specific childhood anxiety disorders, the presentation offers a specific intervention strategy plan to help anxious students academically and socially and the presentation helps educators to develop skills in behavior management and accommodation planning for students with anxiety disorders.

Brief Program Description

Anxiety disorders are a major mental health issue for school age children, especially at-risk youth. Anxiety disorders are often misunderstood or misdiagnosed-while students slip through the academic cracks. This presentation will teach about the clinical criteria of specific anxiety disorders and will offer a practical three step intervention strategy to empower anxious youth academically and socially.

Summary

The presentation will provide a brief overview of clinical criteria for childhood anxiety disorders. Diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder will be discussed. It is important when an educator becomes aware that a student has an anxiety issue to understand specific behaviors and thought processes related to the disorders. Anxiety disorders are diverse and multi-faceted, therefore diagnostic education is key.

The majority of the presentation will focus on a three prong model developed to assist anxious children in the classroom. The model consists of three levels, otherwise known as the "Three A's for Anxiety." The first level is "Assess" which helps educators pinpoint the specific types of anxious behaviors displayed in the classroom through a behavioral triaging system. The second level is "Apply" which teaches specific intervention strategies to assist with anxiety. Some of the interventions include peer-support strategies, cognitive/learning strategies, behavioral strategies and stress management strategies-such as guided imagery and mindfulness exercises. These exercises can help with memory, focus and confidence building. The final level is to "Advocate," which teaches educators how to advocate for appropriate accommodations and best practices for students with anxiety disorders..

The presentation provides a brief, but comprehensive hands-on strategy that participants can take home with them and use in the classroom. The "Three A's of Anxiety" intervention model will be distributed to participants in hard copy for to utilize after the conference. This presentation aims to help educators pinpoint problematic, anxious behaviors and to gain confidence in managing anxious behaviors in the classroom. The model embraces the value of empowerment for at risk-youth since many children living in poverty and experiencing ecological stressors are more at risk to develop anxiety issues.

Evidence

The evidence for this model was developed from diagnostic criteria from the Diagnostic statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V-R (American Psychological Association) and best practices from the National Institute of Mental Health and National Association of Mental Illness.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Lisa Skeens has been a social worker and psychotherapist for the last twenty one years in community mental health and private practice settings. She specializes in anxiety disorders, non-medical treatment of ADHD, marital and family therapy, bilingual/bi-cultural therapy and verbal/emotional abuse.

Dr. Skeens has been a professor of Social Sciences and Social Work for the last fifteen years at Capital University, Lambuth University-Memphis and is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Ohio University-Lancaster.

Dr. Skeens currently has a private practice in Dublin, Ohio and is a national consultant and public speaker/trainer on mental health topics (www.drlisaskeens.com).

Keyword Descriptors

Childhood Mental Health and Classroom Intervention Strategies

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-7-2016 3:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2016 4:15 PM

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Mar 7th, 3:00 PM Mar 7th, 4:15 PM

De-Mystifying Childhood Anxiety Disorders: A Three Step Intervention Approach

Percival

Anxiety disorders are a major mental health issue for school age children, especially at-risk youth. Anxiety disorders are often misunderstood or misdiagnosed-while students slip through the academic cracks. This presentation will teach about the clinical criteria of specific anxiety disorders and will offer a practical three step intervention strategy to empower anxious youth academically and socially.