Childhood anxiety can be experienced in a number of ways – physically, emotionally, and the ways in which your child sees the world. These worries are generally related to events that might happen, like things going wrong at school, or feeling as though they’re in danger. All people experience anxiety from time to time and these feelings can range from mild unease to full-blown panic attacks depending upon the child and the situation. Some anxiety is normal, but when anxiety occurs for too long or too often, this can be completely overwhelming for your child. Children may not know what’s making them feel anxious, worried, or other emotions, only that it’s impacting their daily life. If your child is struggling with an anxiety disorder, you may feel helpless and alone, as though nothing you can do will help ease their discomfort. At Ascent Children’s Health Services, we understand childhood anxiety disorders and are ready to help you and your child learn ways of coping and living with anxiety disorders.
Why Seek Treatment for Childhood Anxiety Disorders?
Your child may feel filled with dread, always worrying about improbable situations, fearing for the safety of family members and friends. He or she may feel the worst is about to happen, struggle with stomachaches and headaches, and their worry may prevent them from attending school or engaging in social activities. Your child may not be able to express why he or she feels a certain way, only that he or she feels overwhelmed. You and your child are not alone – anxiety disorders are among the most common disorders affecting people of all ages.
While anxiety disorders are common, that doesn’t mean that living with these disorders has to be hard. An outpatient or day program that focuses solely upon children can help your child to learn the coping skills needed to manage anxiety, ways to channel their anxiety into other activities, and how to understand their emotions. Having a program that has all types of medical and psychiatric disciplines under one roof allows for continuity of care, care plan meetings to discuss your child’s situation, and an eclectic approach to treatment and care.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Ascent Children’s Health Services, we know that each family who comes to us for care is a unique unit of special individuals who require the care and compassion of a center entirely devoted to treating children and the problems they experience. We’ve helped many children just like yours learn more about their anxiety disorder, develop skills and coping mechanisms to combat the anxiety, and understand anxiety triggers that will allow them to go on to lead a happy, normal, and worry-free life. We work hard to enhance the emotional, social, cognitive, and physical health needs of all of our children while promoting hopefulness and independence. This allows Ascent to ensure your child is receiving the most effective, appropriate level of care possible.
Treatment Options for Childhood Anxiety at Ascent Children’s Health Services
When you come to us with a referral for our services, your child will first undergo a variety of evaluations to allow us to determine the type of anxiety he or she is struggling with, the presence of other medical or mental health disorders, and life circumstances that may have contributed to the development of childhood anxiety. These evaluations will be given by pediatric specialists who are very familiar with working with children and will put you and your child at ease. When we have gathered the results of our evaluations, we will use this information to place your child in the most appropriate type of care and work with you to create a multidisciplinary treatment approach for your child’s care. Treatment of anxiety disorders in children will depend upon a number of factors and may include the following interventions:
Individual Therapy: Spending quality one-on-one time with a therapist who specializes in childhood anxiety disorders is one of the most effective ways for children with anxiety to learn to cope with their disorder. Through individual therapy, your child will learn more about his or her emotions, develop proper coping skills, and determine the types of situations that precipitate anxiety in your child. We often use cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as a way to teach your child how their thoughts control their moods and behaviors.
Group Therapy: Many children who face anxiety issues, especially social anxiety, will benefit from the peer-to-peer interactions provided by group therapy. Your child will join groups that are appropriate for his or her diagnosis as a way to enhance social skills and provide support for one another as certain topics are discussed. Group topics may include emotional regulation, deep breathing and relaxation techniques, coping skills, and identification and management of emotions.
Family Therapy: Family involvement in the therapeutic process is vital to your child’s recovery and we will meet no less than one time per month to discuss your child’s progress. These sessions will be child-focused and ensure that our treatment team is on the same page as you and your family in regards to continuity of treatment. Our doctors may watch the ways in which you interact with your child and show you new ways of working with your child in order to promote healing and positive communication.
As Ascent Children’s Health Services is a holistic treatment center, we include a variety of experiential therapies in addition to our other therapeutic interventions in an effort to heal the whole child. These methods may include:
- Nutrition and wellness counseling
- Feeding clinics
- Sensory rooms
- Therapy gyms
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
Ascent Children’s Health Services is proud to offer a variety of treatments aimed at managing many childhood conditions. We provide our care under one roof using a team of experts in child health and offer several options for care. Children who are struggling with developmental or medical disorders may enroll in our Child Health Management Services (CHMS). We offer day treatment and outpatient services for those who qualify for our CHMS services. Children who struggle with behavioral problems may join our Rehabilitative Services for Persons with Mental Illness (RSPMI) program, which is also offered as a day program or on an outpatient basis. Our initial assessments will determine the proper level of care for your child.
Annually, we conduct evaluations to ensure that your child still qualifies for services. Ascent is proud to offer a formal discharge process for our children and their families that allows for continuity of care and ensures that an appropriate aftercare plan has been developed. Some children will step-down from our day program into our outpatient program or from our outpatient program into a school-based program. Other children may step up from outpatient into day treatment as needed. We also offer an in-home study for our children to make sure they’re properly adjusting to the new treatment plan.