By Amanda Morin
It’s not uncommon for students who learn and think differently to also struggle with anxiety. They might worry a lot or be withdrawn at school. They may hesitate to participate in the classroom, make frequent trips to the bathroom or the nurse’s office, or even refuse to go to school at all. All of this can get in the way of learning.
What are some classroom accommodations for kids with anxiety? Here are strategies teachers can try.
Providing Emotional Support
- Encourage the student to use self-calming or anxiety-reducing techniques that were taught by a counselor or therapist.
- Allow the student to have a self-calming object or family pictures on hand.
- Build in “call home” breaks (for students with separation anxiety).
- Let the student seek help from a designated staff member with mental health expertise when feeling anxious.
Classroom Setup, Schedules, and Routines
- Provide classroom seating where the student is most comfortable (near a door, near the front of the room, near the teacher or a friend).
- Let the student sit near the back of the room or by an exit during assemblies.
- Assign the student a designated buddy for lunchtime, recess, and/or hallways.
- Allow preferential grouping for field trips so the student is with a teacher or friends.
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