Three Ways Divorce Affects Kids

Three Ways Divorce Affects Kids

It may seem like the best option for a couple when they are not getting along and cannot remedy their differences. Yet divorce, for the children involved, comes with many lasting effects. Here are just three:

1. Increased Anxiety. Kids who go through a divorce often feel pulled between two inseparable forces. Parents who hold different views cause children to choose between those views – a choice that is not without ramifications. As no child wants to disappoint his/her parents, there is never any “right” choice and kids cope with the chronic fear of upsetting one, or both, of their parents. Making matters worse, divorced parents often ask the child about his/her experiences at the other parent’s home, watching for signs that he/she is happier there.

2. Deterioration in School Performance. It’s not hard to imagine that increased anxiety will impact school performance. Numerous studies have demonstrated that anxiety inhibits learning, memory, and concentration, as well as resulting in disruptions in school behavior. However, kids whose parents have divorced also have to cope with the constant disruption of their lives caused by moving from one house to another. This factor alone can often lead to poor sleep, concentration, and irritability.

3. Somatic Complaints. Anxiety is known to manifest physically, and this is especially relevant when feelings of anxiety are not expressed. As the children of a divorce often hold in their feelings for fear of upsetting either parent, they are prone to a variety of somatic complaints – everything from nausea, constipation, headaches, and upset stomachs.

Helping kids whose parents are divorcing requires understanding the unique ways in which divorce affects kids, as well as effective strategies to help them cope. Moreover, a clinician treating divorcing couples will need a toolbox of skills to work with parents who may be in disagreement about many things – one of which is their children.

Learn More & Earn Continuing Education (CE) Credits:

The Challenge of Co-Parenting: Helping Split Couples to Raise Healthy Kids is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides guidance for clinicians working with the parents, and children, affected by divorce. Parents who have chosen not to remain together as a couple are still responsible for the healthy upbringing of their mutual children. They must face not only the typical challenges of parenting, but also those unique tasks that come from living in separate homes. While therapists and other professionals have long worked with intact couples on parenting skills, they must now also be versed in teaching parents who live in separate homes how to establish healthy “co-parenting” abilities as well. This course will provide a basic understanding of the significant issues unique to children of split couples, and how to help co-parents address these issues while at the same time overcoming the common blocks that prevent them from working together in a healthy way. Closeout Course #20-16 | 2006 | 22 pages | 14 posttest questions

Anxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients. This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions

School Refusal Behavior: Children Who Can’t or Won’t Go to School is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that breaks down the distinction between truancy and school refusal and examines a number of psychological disorders that may be causing – or comorbid with – school refusal. School refusal is a problem that is stressful for children, for their families, and for school personnel. Failing to attend school has significant long and short-term effects on children’s social, emotional, and educational development. School refusal is often the result of, or associated with, comorbid disorders such as anxiety or depression. Careful assessment, treatment planning, interventions, and management of school refusal are critical to attainment of the goal of a successful return to school as quickly as possible. Interventions may include educational support, cognitive therapy, behavior modification, parent/teacher interventions, and pharmacotherapy. This course will break down the distinction between truancy and school refusal and will examine a number of psychological disorders that may be causing – or comorbid with – school refusal, including separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, social phobia, panic attacks, major depression, dysthymia, ADHD, and oppositional defiant disorder. Completing the course will assist you in performing a functional analysis of school refusal to determine the motivation and particular reinforcement systems that support the behavior. Specific intervention strategies will be reviewed, with a focus on tailoring and adapting standard approaches to specific situations. Participants will be given the opportunity to review several case studies and develop a sample intervention plan for cases of school refusal. Course #40-29 | 2011 | 49 pages | 30 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

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Childhood Anxiety: A Sign of Something Larger?

Childhood Anxiety

For those who work in addictions, the term “dual diagnosis” is well understood. Essentially, it describes the way in which addictions often overlay another, and sometimes more pervasive, diagnosis.

Often the diagnosis is related to trauma, and leaves the client with emotional residue – in the form of heightened anxiety. As a way to cope with this anxiety and “feel normal,” the theory holds, clients often resort to drugs as a type of “self-medication.”

Yet, while drugs may initially soothe a client with hypervigilance, they come with their own set of problems. Clients frequently become addicted not just because many substances alter the way the brain responds to them, but also because they are trying to fix a larger underlying problem.

Anxiety cannot be fixed by drugs or alcohol – it can only be masked. But if the anxiety is left undetected – as it often is in children – the child who becomes an adolescent is left to fend for himself. It’s not hard to see how drugs can become attractive. They offer a quick fix, and one that the teen can secure on his/her own, thereby avoiding acknowledging there is a problem, or asking for help.

Wouldn’t it be much easier to treat the anxiety before it turns into an addiction? Clearly it would, however, treating childhood anxiety depends on first recognizing it, and then knowing the strategies, techniques, and treatment options to help children cope with their anxiety. In the best scenario, a clinician would also be able to identify the precursors of anxiety and utilize strategies to prevent its further development.

Through recognizing the frequency with which anxiety disorders occur and becoming familiar with the communication and behavioral strategies to help children manage their anxiety, not just can childhood anxiety be better treated, but a host of problems down the road prevented. (Childhood anxiety doesn’t just forecast drug use, it also correlates with depression, relational problems, and academic difficulties.)

Moreover, children who might otherwise avoid seeking the help of a trained professional – and find themselves self-medicating down the road – can develop a lasting representation of mental health professionals that serves as an important component of their well-being as they progress through school and into adulthood. All of this depends on educated professionals with the knowledge and skills to treat childhood anxiety when it first occurs.

Click here to learn more.

Anxiety in ChildrenAnxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients. This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

This course is sponsored by Professional Development Resources, a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

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Treatment for Anxiety Disorders in Children

Course excerpt from Anxiety in Children

Treatment for Anxiety in ChildrenAnxiety disorders in children are very common, usually chronic, and frequently disabling. Since everyone experiences anxiety at some point, the first step is to determine whether the disorder falls within the bounds of “normal” anxiety, or whether it is something that requires professional treatment.

Parents often need help making this determination. Mental health professionals can present the following checklist to parents so that they can determine if they need to access medical or psychological help for their child:

  • Are you spending enormous amounts of time reassuring your child about engaging in normal activities?
  • Is your child’s anxiety out of sync with what is expected developmentally?
  • Is your child having difficulty with or have you noticed a significant change with sleeping, eating, or intrusive physical symptoms?
  • Is your child crying a lot? Does your child seem inconsolable?
  • Is the anxiety occurring regularly? Are the symptoms increasing?
  • Is your child becoming socially isolated? Is your child avoiding social situations or school?
  • Are there sudden changes in your child’s academic achievement or behavior?
  • Is your child unusually irritable?
  • Have these symptoms persisted over a few months?
  • Is the anxiety interfering with social, emotional, or behavioral functioning?


The two most common forms of treatment for anxiety are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication, usually selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline and paroxetine. Research has consistently demonstrated that cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacological therapies are most effective when used in conjunction with each other. Chansky (2014) does not recommend medication without concurrent cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that feelings can be affected by our thoughts and behaviors. Thoughts are internal ways in which we talk to ourselves, and behaviors are the actions we take in everyday life.

Unhelpful thoughts and unhelpful behaviors lead to negative feelings, whereas helpful thoughts and helpful behaviors are related to positive feelings. It is cyclical: feelings lead to thoughts, which then lead certain actions (that is, behavior). Behavior can lead to negative thoughts and negative feelings. Negative thoughts can lead to negative behaviors and then negative feelings.

“The take home message is that understanding our feelings and how they affect us can lead us to do something to prevent our feelings from getting the better of us. We cannot make our feelings just go away, we can manage them. This can be accomplished by expressing our feelings…or by changing our thinking and behaving.”

Children who suffer from anxiety need to learn to think helpful and positive thoughts. The basis of treatment for children who suffer from anxiety is helping them understand that they can change their thinking patterns.

Medication

When is medication necessary? A pediatrician or psychiatrist needs to make that assessment and discuss the pros and cons of medication.

Medication is generally used when the level of anxiety is so high that the child is unable to use the skills that the therapist is attempting to teach the child. If medication is prescribed, parents need to know that it is not a “life sentence” and that their child might not always need to be on medication.

As noted earlier, the most common and demonstrably effective medications for childhood anxiety are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline and paroxetine. Also – again as noted earlier – they are most effective when used in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

While the primary focus of this course is on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders, some readers may be interested in more information on pharmacological treatment. For those interested, a NIMH article on multimodal treatment of child/adolescent anxiety can be found at the following website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4695375/

Click here to learn more.

Anxiety in ChildrenAnxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients. This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.
Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501) and the Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Tips for Preventing Anxiety in Children

Course excerpt from Anxiety in Children –

Anxiety in ChildrenAccording to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk of performing poorly in school, missing out on important social experiences, and engaging in substance abuse. One in five children with an anxiety disorder is not diagnosed. Anxiety disorders untreated in childhood can continue well into adulthood.

Children with language and communication disorders are especially susceptible to anxiety because they are struggling academically and often compare themselves with their peers. They might feel stupid, lazy, and overlooked by their peers. They often don’t have the language skills they need to express their anxiety and often have issues with school as a result of it.

What Can Professionals and Parents Do to Prevent Childhood Anxiety?

Certainly, the best way to reduce the incidence and severity of anxiety disorders in children is to take steps to prevent its occurrence in the first place. As noted above, one of the causes of anxiety in children is anxiety in their parents. If the parents can learn to manage their own anxiety, they can help prevent – or at least manage – anxiety in their children.

Here are a few tips and strategies that can be incorporated into therapy sessions for the purpose of preventing and managing anxiety in children:

Remember that Positive Language is Important

Advise parents to check how often they are saying “be careful” to their children. Instead, they recommend saying, “Think a few steps ahead” or “Use your head and have fun!” As clinicians, we can do this as well. It is important for adults to let children know that they are valued and liked regardless of their behavior. Adults can discipline a child and work to improve the child’s behavior while still sending the message of unconditional positive regard.

Foster Resilience and Self-Efficacy

Helping professionals can find ways to foster resilience in children. A resilient child feels that he can positively influence the environment in which he lives. Known as self-efficacy, this can be nurtured by finding ways to foster a child’s independence and autonomy. Children need these life skills to develop into independent and productive members of society. But this generation’s youth are protected more than in previous eras, and rightly so, since many neighborhoods are not conducive to children playing outside or walking to the corner store alone. However, the result of this protective climate has deprived children of opportunities to learn basic life skills.

Adults need to find ways to foster a sense of true mastery in children. When we teach life skills, we are sending the message “you can do this,” “you are capable,” and “you will be an active and productive member of society one day.” According to Flasher and Fogle (2012), “The ability to be encouraging may be one of the most important qualities of clinicians.”

Give Choices

Giving children choices hands some control over to the child without compromising the adult’s authority—a win/win situation. Implicit in the choice is the fact that the child needs to fulfill the task but gets to choose how it will be accomplished. Giving choices diffuses conflict and lets children assert their independence in a healthy way. It exercises their brains by making them think and solve problems. It is an extremely effective technique to use with independent and defiant children and toddlers.

Click here to learn more.

Anxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients. This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501) and the Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Anxiety in Children – New ASHA CEU Course

New Online ASHA CEU Course @pdresources.org

Anxiety in ChildrenAnxiety in Children is a brand new 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients.

This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions

Anxiety in Children is offered for .4 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area).

ASHA credit expires 7/11/2020. ASHA CEUs are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the quarterly completion report from the ASHA Approved CE Provider. Please note that the completion date that appears on ASHA transcripts is the last day of the quarter regardless of when the course was completed. AAUM #5130

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM) to provide continuing education activities in speech-language pathology and audiology. See course page for number of ASHA CEUs, instructional level and content area. ASHA CE provider approval does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures. CEUs are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the CEU Participant Form from the ASHA Approved CE Provider. Please note that the completion date that appears on ASHA transcripts is the last day of the quarter, regardless of when the course was completed. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (Provider #50-1635) and the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within 1 week of completion)

 

What Causes Anxiety in Children?

Course excerpt from Anxiety in Children

Anxiety in ChildrenWhy are so many children experiencing anxiety disorders? Mental health professionals have cited many reasons: a decrease in play and physical exercise; hovering, anxious parents; the breakdown of the traditional family; nuclear families moving far away from each other, thereby diminishing a sense of community; technology replacing “real” communication; an overload of information, which often comes in the form of negative news; an overabundance of choices; and the fast pace of our modern world. For this reason, it is important to perform a comprehensive assessment in order to determine the causes of anxiety in each child so that an effective treatment plan can be developed.

Here are some of the factors that can cause anxiety in children:

Genetics

There is a genetic component to anxiety; in other words, it often runs in families. When a parent is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, a child is seven times more likely to develop one as well. Sixty-five percent of children living with an anxious parent meet criteria for an anxiety disorder.

Temperament

Children with anxiety have more heightened physiological reactions to stress than children who have calmer temperaments. When children with anxiety experience emotions, their bodies produce more hormones, signaling the brain to impose the flight or fight response. Because of this surge of hormones, it is harder for them to turn off their stress response. Children who are anxious have trouble managing their overwhelming emotions.

Children who are prone to anxiety have the following characteristics:

  • A greater degree of creativity and imagination.
  • Rigid black and white thinking; they may be unforgiving toward themselves and others.
  • Perfectionism—a setup for failure and anxiety because they set unrealistic goals for themselves and focus on minor mistakes and flaws instead of positivity.


Environment

Exposure to difficult or traumatic situations such as accidents, fire, abuse, parental discord, or environmental disasters can contribute to a child’s anxiety.

There are a number of behaviors in which parents engage that can unintentionally exacerbate stress in their children. Such behaviors include:

  • Rescuing, reassuring, and overprotecting.
  • Limiting independence.
  • Excessive criticism, judgmental attitude.
  • Excessive expression of fear and anxiety in front of the children.
  • Fighting, arguing, and disharmony; anger and explosiveness.
  • Reinforcing the idea that the world is not a safe place.


Researchers note that over-controlling mothers limit the child’s autonomy, increasing their anxiety by limiting their cognitive sense of being able to cope with the environment. Interestingly, in a two-parent family, when both mother and father were over-controlling, only maternal over-control was associated with child anxiety and difficulty coping.

The good news is that with education, parents can be taught better skills to handle their own anxiety and manage their children’s anxiety as well. Experts suggest that the following parenting behaviors can help buffer their children’s stress:

  • Rewarding coping behaviors.
  • Teaching kids that mistakes are okay.
  • Developing a growth mindset about learning.
  • Learning to manage their own anxiety.
  • Positive communication patterns.
  • Teaching children to problem solve and take risks.


Anxiety in ChildrenAnxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients. This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

 

Top image created by Asier_relampagoestudio – Freepik.com

Anxiety Disorders on the Rise in Children

Course excerpt from Anxiety in Children

Anxiety in ChildrenThese days, children seem to be more anxious than ever. Mental health professionals have cited many reasons: a decrease in play and physical exercise; hovering, anxious parents; the breakdown of the traditional family; nuclear families moving far away from each other, thereby diminishing a sense of community; technology replacing “real” communication; an overload of information, which often comes in the form of negative news; an overabundance of choices; and the fast pace of our modern world.

Whatever the reason, many children are stressed out. It can be tough for parents and those who work with children to manage and help them overcome their worries, whether they are about family discord, separation anxiety, terrorism, “bad guys,” or any type of change. Children also often want help dealing with their little fears, such as loud noises, the dark, or monsters under the bed. Teens fret about not doing well in school, not getting into college, or not fitting in.

People increasingly expect more of themselves and more out of life, but with the future being so uncertain, this creates a lot of stress. According to Edwards (2013), modern children are actually smarter; they have better problem-solving skills and the ability to take ideas and skills to the next level. However, these skills may contribute to anxiety. Years ago, a child might have thought, pollution is bad. Now the child can take that idea to the next level: pollution is destroying the earth. Children know much more and have access to considerably more information on a variety of levels.

Ensuring that children succeed in school seems to offer comfort to parents, who think that a child who succeeds at school will surely be able to manage in this uncertain world. This has created a pressure cooker environment in schools. Parents, teachers, principals, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, marriage and family counselors, social workers, psychologists, and physical therapists are feeling the pressure. When their children are not successful in school, parents often turn to healthcare professionals for help. Whatever your discipline, you are likely to encounter an anxious child.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk of performing poorly in school, missing out on important social experiences, and engaging in substance abuse (Peters Mayer, 2008). One in five children with an anxiety disorder is not diagnosed. Anxiety disorders untreated in childhood can continue well into adulthood.

This high incidence of anxiety has impacted the professionals who work with children, including speech-language pathologists. Children with language and communication disorders are especially susceptible to anxiety because they are struggling academically and often compare themselves with their peers. They might feel stupid, lazy, and overlooked by their peers. They often don’t have the language skills they need to express their anxiety and often have issues with school as a result of it (Peters Mayer, 2008).

Here are a few examples of how children’s anxiety can impact them in school:

  • Sara cries uncontrollably before taking a standardized test. She cannot calm herself down before the test and often cannot complete it. Her mother usually calls Sara’s therapist multiple times on the morning of standardized testing asking how to reassure Sara.
  • Eli is anxious about completing his therapy activities when they involve reading. He completely avoids any reading activities and needs repeated reassurance that therapy will not involve reading.
  • Sharice was diagnosed with ADHD. She needs help organizing her schoolwork, homework, and extracurricular activities. She is so nervous about getting into college that she often gets stuck on her homework.
  • Donny suffered a traumatic house fire in his home. Since then, he will only speak in a whisper at school, if at all. The teachers have been looking to both the school psychologist and the SLP for ways to help Donny.


Children who worry feel as though they are constantly on high alert. Their parents, teachers, and therapists are often frustrated with their behavior. According to Chansky (2014), it seems as if anxious children:

… go looking for trouble—whether it is overhearing a conversation in the hallway about lice, or financial stress, or heart attacks, their hearts sink and their worry soars—they don’t want to be this way. They are equipped with a system that is programmed to be highly sensitive to any hint of uncertainty, to risk, to danger. But it’s a system that is not very good at interpreting that…” (p. 23).

This compounds the problem; not only are children dealing with the stress of their anxiety, but they are also isolating themselves from the people who can help them the most.

It is important for helping professionals to recognize when students are suffering from anxiety. It can cause them to “shut down” during therapy or act out. What therapists and counselors can contribute is a collection of specific techniques to help children deal with their anxiety. Healthcare professionals can use skills to help children learn to talk about their feelings—not only their feelings of anxiety, but any feelings and emotions they might experience. In addition, it is important to give children the necessary tools to express those emotions to others around them in an appropriate manner. Sometimes, a student might act out not because of poor behavior, but because he or she cannot express his or her frustrations, anger, and anxiety. Having learned such skills, children can carry them along for use in other therapies.

Greene (2014) states, “Any difficult behavior your child exhibits as challenging behavior occurs when the demands being placed upon the child outstrips the skills he has to respond adaptively to those demands” (p. 10). Children need appropriate ways to ask for help, and parents, teachers, SLPs, and all professionals working with children need skills and techniques to help children manage their anxiety and to avoid becoming frustrated with their behaviors.

Anxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders.

In this course, we will discuss ways in which helping professionals can teach children skills to manage their anxiety while meeting their educational and therapeutic goals. The tools outlined in this course promote the development of strong relationships by promoting empathy and sensitivity to others. Specific strategies for clinicians, along with examples of their implementation, will be given throughout the course. Each example can be easily translated to other practice/work settings and situations.

Finally, inter-professional collaboration is one of the most effective ways of meeting the needs of children who are struggling with anxiety disorders. According to Hewitt (2014), when children present with social phobia and other anxiety disorders, a referral to psychological services is the first order of business. However, we also need to address maladaptive interactional patterns and conversational and pragmatic intervention, which are within the SLP’s scope of practice. Ideally, SLPs with expertise in pragmatic communication should collaborate with psychologists with expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy. Other disciplines should also collaborate to assure the child with anxiety receives appropriate, targeted care.

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

Florida School Psychologist Renewal Info

Florida School Psychologists Save 20% on CE @pdresources.org

Florida-licensed school psychologists have a biennial license renewal deadline of November 30, odd years. The current license cycle will end on 11/30/2017. The Department of Health will now verify a practitioners continuing education records in the electronic tracking system (CE Broker) at the time of license renewal.

CE Required: 30 hours every 2 years, of which:
2 hours Preventing Medical Errors in Behavioral Health is required each renewal
2 hours Domestic Violence is required every third renewal
Online CE Allowed:
 No limit if APA-approved

Florida school psychologists may earn all 30 hours required for renewal through online courses offered @pdresources.orgClick here to view APA and Florida-board approved online CE courses. Order now and Save 20% on ALL courses!

20% Off FL School Psy CE

Enjoy 20% off ALL Online CE courses for your Florida School Psychologist license renewal! Use coupon code PDRPC339 at checkout to redeem. Valid on future orders only. Offers expire 12/31/2017.

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education for Florida-licensed school psychologists by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Florida Office of School Psychology. We report all course completions to CE Broker on the next business day. Over 100 online courses are available, including:

Preventing Medical Errors in Behavioral HealthPreventing Medical Errors in Behavioral Health is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course intended to increase clinicians’ awareness of the many types of errors that can occur within mental health practice, how such errors damage clients, and numerous ways they can be prevented. Its emphasis is on areas within mental health practice that carry the potential for “medical” errors. Examples include improper diagnosis; breaches of privacy and confidentiality; mandatory reporting requirements; managing dangerous clients; boundary violations and sexual misconduct; the informed consent process; and clinical and cultural competency. There are major new sections on psychotherapy in the digital age, including the use of social networking systems, the practice of teletherapy, and the challenges of maintaining and transmitting electronic records. *This course satisfies the medical errors requirement for license renewal of Florida mental health professionals. Course #21-03 | 2015 | 28 pages | 14 posttest questions
Domestic Violence: Child Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course intended to help healthcare professionals maintain a high state of vigilance and to be well prepared with immediate and appropriate responses when abuse is disclosed. Domestic violence, in the form of child abuse and intimate partner violence, remains a pervasive part of contemporary life in the U.S. Its effects are deep and far-reaching. This course will teach clinicians to detect abuse when they see it, screen for the particulars, and respond with definitive assistance in safety planning, community referrals, and individualized treatment plans. There is a special section on the complexity of an abuse victim’s decision about if and when to leave an abuser. This course meets the Domestic Violence license renewal requirement of all Florida licensees. Course #21-12 | 2016 | 42 pages | 15 posttest questions
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Anxiety in ChildrenAnxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients. This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions
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Effects of Digital Media on Children’s Development and Learning is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews the research on media use and offers guidance for educators and parents to regulate their children’s use of digital devices. Today’s world is filled with smartphones used by people ignoring their surroundings and even texting while driving, which is criminally dangerous. Are there other dangers that may not be as apparent? Media technology (e.g., smart phones, tablets, or laptop computers) have changed the world. Babies and children are affected and research reveals that 46% of children under age one, and up to 59% of eight-year-old children are exposed to cell phones. In England, nearly 80% of senior primary-school staff reportedly are worried about poor social skills or speech problems of children entering school, which they attribute to the use of media devices. Media technology affects family life, children’s readiness for entering school or preschool, and classroom learning. Recent research delineates a developmental progression of understanding information on devices for children between ages 2- 5 years. Younger children may believe false information if it is on a computer. This research is important for understanding technology uses in education. There are also known health risks and possible adverse effects to social-emotional development. Statistics describing the increase of media technology and developing trends in media use are presented along with guidelines and position statements developed to protect children from risks and adverse effects. Course #30-96 | 2017 | 50 pages | 20 posttest questions
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Executive Functioning: Teaching Children Organizational SkillsExecutive Functioning: Teaching Children Organizational Skills is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that will enumerate and illustrate multiple strategies and tools for helping children overcome executive functioning deficits and improve their self-esteem and organizational abilities. Executive functioning skills represent a key set of mental assets that help connect past experience with present action. They are fundamental to performing activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space. Conversely, executive functioning deficits can significantly disrupt an individual’s ability to perform even simple tasks effectively. Although children with executive functioning difficulties may be at a disadvantage at home and at school, adults can employ many different strategies to help them succeed. Included are techniques for planning and prioritizing, managing emotions, improving communication, developing stress tolerance, building time management skills, increasing sustained attention, and boosting working memory. Course #40-42 | 2017 | 76 pages | 25 posttest questions
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More courses available @pdresources.org

Anxiety in Children – New Online CE Course

New Online CE Course @pdresources.org

Anxiety in ChildrenAnxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients.

This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

About the Authors:

Adina Soclof, MS, CCC-SLP, a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, received her master’s degree from Hunter College in New York in Communication Sciences. She is the Director of Parent Outreach for A+ Learning and Development Centers facilitating “How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk” workshops as well as workshops based on “Siblings Without Rivalry.” Adina is the founder of ParentingSimply.com, a division of A+ Learning and Development Centers. You can reach her and check out her website at www.parentingsimply.com.

Leo Christie, PhD, LMFT, is a Florida-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University. Past President of the Florida Council on Family Relations, Dr. Christie is currently CEO of Professional Development Resources, a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to deliver continuing education credit courses to healthcare professionals throughout the United States. He has more than 20 years’ experience in private practice with a specialty in child behavior disorders and as an instructor for over 500 live continuing education seminars for healthcare professionals.

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).