Approximately 5% of Canadians report suffering from an anxiety disorder. Many more Canadians, both young and old, likely suffer from anxiety but have not been formally diagnosed.
The term "anxiety disorder" actually refers to a group of independently-recognized mental disorders linked by a common symptom: anxiety that is irrational and excessive for the circumstances. To rise to the level of an anxiety disorder, a patient's symptoms must negatively interfere with day-to-day activities for a prolonged period of time.
Your child can still enroll in a Montessori school even with an anxiety disorder diagnosis. As a matter of fact, your child will likely benefit more from the personalized nature of a Montessori school than the education offered at traditional schools. Even though a psychologist should oversee your child's disorder, your child's Montessori instructors can play an important role in minimizing the symptoms.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder can affect both children and adults. A child diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder will usually have problems concentrating in school, suffer from low self-confidence, struggle with punctuality, and experience feelings of "not being good enough."
School is challenging enough for children; for children suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, school can be even more overwhelming. Often, this disorder's symptoms appear without any apparent trigger. If your child's Montessori instructors are aware of this diagnosis, they can help your child overcome self-esteem issues and gain confidence in daily activities that can benefit other areas of your child's life.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder has a marked impact on children diagnosed with this condition. As children mature, they go through several stages of self-awareness development, including awareness of how others perceive and judge them. For a child with social anxiety disorder, social situations are unbearably uncomfortable; the child over-analyzes and worries about the judgment of peers. If your child has a social anxiety disorder, the symptoms can be so severe that your child will avoid social situations altogether instead of deal with the anxiety and discomfort involved.
Montessori instructors can help your child cope with social anxiety disorder. These instructors can ease your child into uncomfortable situations with other peers and classmates, like group projects and class presentations.
Did you know that obsessive-compulsive behaviors, like preoccupations with order, cleanliness, or losing things, can actually be the symptoms of an anxiety disorder? Children diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder will incessantly worry about things and subconsciously perform rituals to prevent the perceived fear from becoming a reality.
Having a child obsessed with clean hands, tidiness, or timeliness may sound like a parent's dream, but not all compulsions are healthy. For example, over-washing hands can stunt your child's immune system and turn skin raw and prone to infection. Excessively obsessing about perfection can result in time management problems that interfere with test and homework completion. Furthermore, the persistent negative thoughts swirling around your child's head can have a profound impact on your child's happiness.
If your child suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, alert Montessori instructors to your child's particular compulsions. Your child spends a lot of time at school, but instructors can help your child resist the urge to perform rituals and learn the balance between healthy habits and obsessions.
For more information, contact a school like Colwell Nursery School montessori.