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The ADHD / Anxiety Connection

Sometimes, treating a child’s anxiety can trickle down to fewer ADHD symptoms that impair social skills and school performance.

Here’s another insight I gleaned from the Savarese family’s keynote address on autism: Anxiety plays a significant role in DJ’s daily life with autism.

Treating his anxiety with medication and managing it through coping skills has helped DJ succeed (kick butt!) in a regular classroom.

Does your child with ADHD have problems with anxiety? Mine does. Although she hasn’t been officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, one mental health professional said Natalie probably will be at some point.

She has a lot of headaches, and she certainly holds tension in her body. Our O.T. has recommended therapeutic massage, and says Nat doesn’t know how to relax her muscles. She also shows signs of anxiety in social situations — a fear of new people (in some circumstances, and a dangerous lack of healthy fear in others!)

So, what to do about it? Natalie’s anxiety is not severe enough to require treatment with medication. I guess we’ll continue to work on learning simple coping skills — mindfully taking deep breaths, releasing excess energy through physical activity, and learning what it feels like to relax in order to get to sleep at night.

How do you help your child with ADHD cope with anxiety?