Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, is a board-certified behavior analyst and special educator. She is Director of Behavioral Services at Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents (NESCA), in Newton, Massachusetts, as well as a behavior consultant to schools nationwide. She also holds an adjunct professor position in the special education department at Boston University.
Reducing Anxiety in Children
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four thirteen to eighteen-year-olds has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning, and social/behavior problems in school. Understanding the role anxiety plays in a student’s behavior is crucial and using preventive strategies are key to successful intervention. Effective behavior plans for these students must avoid the reward and punishment-based consequences from traditional behavior plans and focus instead on the use of preventive strategies and on explicitly teaching coping skills, self-monitoring, and alternative responses