Anxiety in the Primary Classroom: A Handbook for Elementary Educators
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This project presents a literature review of pediatric anxiety including the prevalence, etiology, and treatment of anxiety disorders in children, presented along with evidence indicating the short- and long-term effects of anxiety in young children, and the important role of the school in first response regarding the early identification and intervention for these children. A needs assessment was conducted using primary elementary school teachers to identify their level of confidence in their ability to identify and support children suffering with anxiety disorders in their classrooms. Results of the assessment indicated a strong need for a resource that provides both information and support for teachers in their interactions with children with anxiety disorders. The assessment results were used to guide the development of a handbook for elementary educators providing current empirical research detailing information about various forms of anxiety disorders commonly affecting young children in primary grades, as well as a list of available resources, and a series of six sequential lesson plans to be implemented for the entire class. Lesson plans are designed to facilitate increased levels of understanding toward the issues confronted by children suffering from anxiety, and fostering strong peer relations and character-building opportunities. Participants were provided with the handbook for evaluation, which indicated a strong support for the effectiveness and usefulness of the resource.