The link between anxiety & learning disabilities

Anxiety is the #1 issue with individuals who have autism and also other neurological disorders like dyslexia. I have two children with learning disabilities and both have also been diagnosed with anxiety.

The first step in developing good anxiety reduction strategies is to isolate the cause (s) of the anxiety and this can be different for everyone. You can not solve a problem unless you clearly define what the problem is in the first place.

It get’s a bit more complicated when there are brain chemistry issues that are the foundation of the anxiety, information processing issues that create anxiety and frustration. If the learning disability is causing the anxiety, you can’t cure the disability, but you can give tools that make the child feel more in control.

If medication is prescribed, please know that they are not supposed to be a replacement for anxiety-reducing strategies, rather, they are to be used so that the individual can be in a calm state and learn the strategies that help them to cope. If done properly over time the impact of what causes the anxiety can be reduced. I am on medication and it’s helping. It doesn’t take the anxiety away per say, but it gives me the ability to control it better. Prior to medication, the anxiety would control me 24/7, now I control it.

Isolating the individual from the cause of the anxiety is not the best strategy because they must learn to live in a world where the anxiety cause exists. Rather you learn to cope and train your brain to react properly. People who suffer anxiety are not weak but stronger than most an really work hard to get through it. For example, you cannot remove a socially anxious child from school.

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