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Anxiety and ADHD

Returning to School Hints and Tricks.


The two primary concerns mentioned by parents who bring their children into counselling at Blake Psychological, especially with the return to school, include understanding anxiety and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is crucially important to understand how these 2 conditions can impact children’s performance in the classroom, and even more crucially, how these concerns can be addressed.

understanding Anxiety and adhd. Man and child sitting and smiling

Recognizing the signs and understanding how to support children with Anxiety and ADHD is crucial for their academic and emotional well-being.


Anxiety in the Classroom:

Anxiety in children can manifest in various ways, such as excessive worrying, restlessness, perfectionism, and avoidance behaviors. In the classroom, anxious children may struggle with:

  1. Participation: Anxious children might hesitate to answer questions or avoid volunteering in class discussions due to fear of judgment or embarrassment.

  2. Concentration: They may find it difficult to concentrate on tasks as their minds are preoccupied with worries and what-ifs.

  3. Social Interactions: Anxiety can hinder a child's ability to make friends or engage in group activities, leading to feelings of isolation.

To support children with anxiety in the classroom:

  • Foster a safe and supportive environment where children feel comfortable expressing their feelings.

  • Encourage open communication and provide opportunities for breaks when needed.

  • Teach relaxation techniques, like deep breathing exercises, to help manage anxiety symptoms.

ADHD in the Classroom:

ADHD is characterized by difficulties in sustaining attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors. In the classroom, children with ADHD may face challenges such as:

  1. Organization: They might struggle with organizing tasks, assignments, and materials.

  2. Impulsivity: Impulsive actions can lead to disruptive behavior, difficulty waiting their turn, and trouble following instructions.

  3. Time Management: Time management skills may be underdeveloped, causing difficulties in completing assignments within set deadlines.

To support children with ADHD in the classroom:

  • Provide clear and concise instructions.

  • Create a structured routine with visual aids and schedules.

  • Offer frequent breaks and opportunities for physical activity.

  • Encourage the use of tools like fidget toys or adaptive seating arrangements to help channel excess energy.

In both cases, collaboration between teachers, parents, and school professionals is essential. Developing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) tailored to the child's specific needs can be invaluable in ensuring that they receive the necessary accommodations and support to succeed academically and manage their conditions effectively.


Understanding and accommodating the unique challenges that anxiety and ADHD present in the classroom can help children thrive, build their self-esteem, and foster a positive attitude towards learning. By providing a nurturing and inclusive educational environment, we can empower these children to reach their full potential.


However, as we’ve discussed in previous blogs, it is vitally important that a proper assessment is conducted prior to any diagnosis and treatment. We will also review this in next week’s blog as well.

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“Students will not learn if their minds and hearts are filled with trauma and anxiety, show them you care, show them they matter and watch them learn.” —Dr. Kendra Strange


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