Child with Anxiety

Updated on May 22, 2010
J.S. asks from Santa Rosa, CA
6 answers

I have a 20 month old with sever anxiety. We have an appointment with a psychiatrist at the end of the month but i am wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a book on young children with anxiety. I already have "the highly sensitive child"
Her anxiety ranges from a speck of lint in the bath tub, loud noises, bird poop on the car window, anything out of place in the house.

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answers from Columbus on

It does not seem strange to me, because we had a child this young with the disorder. It is chemical, they can't help it. If anyone moved anything in our house, she had to put it back, and she could not function until it was done. Drop of water on the dress, new dress. Could not eat ANY thing messy, and the fork could not touch her lips because she might get something on them, it was so funny to watch her eat.

Some of it may also be sensory related, mine had auditory defensiveness, and it was rough. A loud noise would spook her, and she might bolt and run. We asked for a handicaped sticker so that we could park in the best place for her, so that she was more safe if she bolted, and that was not always in the handicaped spot, but it was helpful to have. I had to choose between her (she was 3, and the baby who I had just strapped into the stroller, and I let go of the stroller because it would just roll into the curb and she was running for the street because someone started a lawn mower...left there and drove to the doctor and asked for the form to get the sticker!

I don't have many books to recomend on the anxiety, but you are doing the right thing by taking her to a psychiatrist. We waited until she could not attend Kindergarten, and so wished we had done it sooner. The medication made her feel so, so, so, much better. It was night and day. I have zero doubt that this is totally a medical condition after what we saw with her. She did not even need therapy, it was all chemical.

There will be medication doubters, but don't pay any attention to them. If they had a child in this much misery, they would understand, but they don't so it is easy to say that you would "never" medicate a child that young, or that medication should be a last resort. Do what you need to for her, and done worry one bit about it.

Ours is a typical 13 year old now. Still takes meds, we have had to adjust with age, as they change over the years and need different things. Her room is even a mess! She still eats a little funny with the fork!

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

At this age it will be really hard to tell if it is an anxiety disorder or sensory processing disorder or autism or Asperger's. A child development specialist, child psychiatrist, developmental pediatrician along with. There are good resources at the library at Parents Helping Parents in San Jose (
Medication may or may not be appropriate, but you will also need to work to desensitize and reassure her and teach her to calm herself. My son had (has) very sensitive hearing and unexpected sounds like car horns and sirens and babies crying used to have him covering his ears and crying in dropping to the floor. To teach him that he was safe and it was just a loud sound, we would talk a LOT about it. Trying to distract and reassure him that there was nothing wrong. I'd say " wonder if that's a fire truck or a police car or an ambulance?" what color might it be? etc etc to calm and distract him. He still covers his ears when he hears them but it no longer sends him into a tailspin.
It is important to not let these anxieties begin to rule everything that you do. At 20 months you have a lot of control over her environment, but the world is big and unpredictable and mostly out of our control so you're better off teaching her to cope with little unpredictable things in and around your home and making sure to show her that even after something unexpected happened that she was a big girl and was okay. Changing little things a lot using those changes as teachable moments will help her learn to cope.
Be sure you reach out for some support for yourself. This can be exhausting and frustrating and mom needs to be taken care of too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Sounds like this could be a sensory processing disorder rather than anxiety. You can check that our on the Internet.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

what is the anxiety about? is it related to movement? touch? sound?
or is it separation anxiety?


answers from San Francisco on

I read your post and cannot help thinking that Reiki would help. Reiki is energy, and there is a simple way to learn to give this energy to others and even to ourselves. If you take Reiki training, you will be able to give treatments to your child and also to yourself. Believe me, you will be glad.

My Reiki teacher, who lives in Jerusalem, Israel, will be coming to teach in the SF Bay Area during the first two weeks in June. Please get back to me so that I can send you more information about the classes, and even get you in touch with her so that you can ask her questions directly. Hurry, because she will be leaving Jerusalem on May 27th, and after that it will be hard for her to answer you.




answers from San Francisco on

I would do some research on the internet. As well check with your local library and see if they have something on this sort of thing. It does seem strange that she has and anxiety disorder at this age, and what is actually causing it. The internet is full of things like this. Type in anxiety disorder in young children and see what comes up.
Good luck and I wish you well!!

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