Program Developed To Treat Children’s Anxiety
Lindy Kerin, ABC News, Jun 29, 2010
Child health experts estimate that about one in 10 children suffer from anxiety, ranging from extreme shyness to an irrational fear of global problems.
Experts says the issue can even occur among preschoolers.
Macquarie University researchers in Sydney are treating children as young as two and say anxiety is nowhere near as well understood as illnesses like depression.
It is estimated that about 11 per cent of children suffer from anxiety compared to 3 per cent who suffer from depression.
Macquarie University PhD student Elizabeth Lau has set up a 10-week program at the Macquarie University Centre to treat preschoolers suffering anxiety.
The program focuses on teaching parents how to respond to their children’s behaviour.
“At three-and-a-half [years old] I’ve had kids who have said ‘I’m afraid mum might die’,” Ms Lau said.
Ms Lau says the moods of parents can have a big impact on how a child develops.
“One thing we find is that parents feel a lot more confident, a lot more empowered in terms of number one, ‘I know how to respond to my child’, and ‘I know I’m doing the right thing’ and I think that’s really important for parents.”