Many enquiries are often made to support children with Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Indeed, these neurodiverse children can display some challenging behaviour and experience difficulties with their wellbeing. However, other common presentations, such as Anxiety, may go unnoticed.
Signs of Anxiety may include:
• Complains of head-aches and/or stomach-aches
• Restless or fidgeting
• Requires frequent reassurance, this look like detailed explanations of what to expect and significant encouragement from an adult
• Difficulties sleeping, eating, or toileting
• Anger or irritability
• Trying to avoid what is concerning them, this may look like defiance or refusal
• Easily upset when something is not perfect or there is a change in plans
• Overwhelmed by challenges or mistakes, this may mean giving up quickly or trying to avoid them completely
• Appear extremely shy
• Requesting help for tasks they are capable of completing
• Focusing on the dangerous or negative things that could happen
If these signs are not disrupting a child’s everyday life and pass relatively quickly (a couple of days or a week) then perhaps it may be part of facing everyday challenges and growing. However, if the signs are persistent, not easing, or keep returning and there are changes in the child’s functioning it is a good time to seek help.
Early intervention not only benefits children by preventing their mental health from declining and their distress increasing, but also fosters skills development for future wellbeing.
At the Centre for Effective Living we have Clinical Psychologists, Psychologists, and Provisional Psychologists who can work together to support children and their parents build tools for managing anxiety.
Jessica Buster (M Clin Psych, Grad Dip Prof Psych, BA Psych Hons) is passionate about creating a caring and safe space to promote effective working relationships. Jessica applies evidence-based interventions in a client focused and collaborative manner to assist children, young people and their families move towards their goals of growth and wellbeing.
Jessica’s clinical training and experience has equipped her with skills in the assessment and treatment for mental health issues. She has gained experience working in roles across non-profit, hospital and private settings. This has included working as an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Therapist and roles at Guardian Youth Care, Headspace, Westmead Children’s Hospital Psycho-Oncology, and Healthy Minds Happy Kids.
Across all her roles, Jessica has pursued her interest in working with children, adolescents and their families experiencing a range of mental health difficulties including anxiety, emotion regulation difficulties, behavioural difficulties, social difficulties, and disability. She has been able to promote understanding and engagement with these clients by integrating a sense of fun and creativity into treatment.