Your study level

We've preselected "All levels" for you, but you can change your study level at any time by choosing one of the options on this menu. Changing your study level will return you to the beginning of the module.

What is anxiety?
A teacher comforts and reasons with a
                  distressed teenage boy
How can you tell if someone is anxious?


What do you think anxiety is?


Click for the answer


In distress: Niamh

Children showing possible distress need a calm and considered response. Notice how Niamh's teacher and teaching assistant work together in a calm, considered and planned way to support and help Niamh.

  • Poster
Symptoms of anxiety
A female teacher comforts a distressed
                  young boy on her lap

Think of a time when you were anxious. What were the symptoms of your anxiety? You will have experienced a number of the following symptoms:

  • Dry mouth;
  • Feeling shaky;
  • Sweating;
  • A fast heartbeat;
  • A tense body;
  • Fast breathing;
  • Feelings of dizziness; and/or
  • Difficulty sleeping and/or relaxing.

Think about how these powerful symptoms might affect a child.

Anxiety in children

Think of a child that you know who has been anxious. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do they communicate anxiety to you and others?
  • What exacerbates their feelings?
  • What do you think you can do to support them?
  • To what extent can you work effectively with parents and carers to reduce and alleviate some or all of these symptoms?
  • Do you think that the current systems in your school identifies anxiety in children effectively?
  • Ask your colleagues or other parents and find out if there is any consensus around this topic.

It is sometimes difficult to put yourself in the shoes of a child with complex needs. This resource will enable you to do just that.