From time to time everyone experiences anxiety. The National Institute of Mental Health distinguishes an anxiety disorder as feelings of anxiety which do not go away and gets worse over time. This anxiety can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. Anxiety disorders are typically characterized as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. For more on this topic please visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s website: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml.
Children with an anxiety disorder are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment. A child with an anxiety disorder that interferes with their ability to access their education may qualify for special education services through an IEP under IDEA. Depending on the results of the assessments the school may consider providing services under one of the following categories: social emotional disturbance or other health impairment. Goals can focus on self-regulation and self-monitoring strategies, aggression and anxiety strategies, and other behavioral goals.
A child with an anxiety disorder who does not qualify for an IEP under IDEA may still qualify for accommodations or modifications through a 504 Plan. Here are some sample accommodations:
- Preferred classroom seating
- Cool-down pass
- Lunch bunch
- Safe person at school
- Homework accommodations
It is important that parents and schools work together to support children with anxiety disorders. Left untreated or supported may result in poor grades, less developed social skills, and higher risk for substance abuse (Anxiety and Depression Association of America).
If you have any questions about getting educational help for your child from your local school district, please contact Kristin Springer at 925-551-1041.
(Note: This Blog/Web Site is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. The website has been designed to be a resource for information on matters that might be of interest to current or potential clients but does not establish that relationship. For further information visit my Disclaimer page- https://specialedlegaljourney.com/about/disclaimer/)