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    Joined: Jul 2012
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    YG_VA Offline OP
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    I suspect my DC (8 year old) has anxiety disorder, he is always been super-sensitive and self-conscious. But recently it gets worse that he refused to go to field trip because afraid to get lost, he refused to go to summer camp because worried about we would not pick him up at end of day, and he insists to wear two layers because worried it might get cold (right now it is 95 degree during the day), it drives me nuts and also makes me really worried.

    Is anxiety common with gifted child?
    What should I do next? To get a Doctor to give him an evaluation?
    What can I do at home to help him?
    Anything else?

    Thanks a lot!

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    I know what it is like to struggle with anxiety and that's what it sounds like to me. He is trying to avoid anything bad happening by being over prepared or avoiding the situation all together. I would just try to reassure him that everything is going to be OK. I would also schedule an appointment with a psychologist and see what is suggested.

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    Originally Posted by YG_VA
    it drives me nuts and also makes me really worried.
    Anxiety is quite common for gifted kids, particularly high LOG gifted kids, like yours. It's almost impossible for a 8 year old kid to have the emotional maturity to handle the worries that a 12 year old level brain might be aware enough to notice.

    Look up 'Asynchronous Development' as a search term for more along this train of thought.

    But if it's driving your crazy, then it's a great idea to seek help.

    There is the risk that your helper will 'overpathologize' because gifted kids who are this unusual are rare. But it's a risk worth taking because the same techniques will work. Read
    Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, Ocd, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders by Webb, et al for more along this idea.

    It can't hurt to become a 'walking SuperBowl commercial' every time you notice your kid isn't being anxious while you wait for your appointment. Every time you praise his 'flexibilty' and 'courage' you are helping him to be able to see himself as someone who is strong enough to take a chance and enjoy life.

    After all, courage is when you know the risks and do it anyway, right? So having fears doesn't make a person a chicken.

    My mom used to tell us all the time to 'Play the hand you were dealt.' We got the message to accept our challenges and keep trying even if it's not easy. I also like how it cuts down the comparisons between people. OK, little John down the street can do lots of stuff I can't because we were dealt different hands, but I can play my hand well or poorly.

    Hope that helps,
    Grinity


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    Can he leave an extra set of warm clothing in the car for 'just in case' like Nancy Drew?


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    YG_VA Offline OP
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    Thanks for good information, I will do some more search on this topic and set up a inital consultation app with Dr.

    He does have a jacket in his backpack when he goes to school for 'just in case' and still he wants to wear under shirt and T-shirt.

    I am usually the 'soft' one whenever he is being anxious, and try to ensure him and make promises (to pick him up, that everything will be ok) and try to remind him afterward, like 'see, everything IS ok'. His dad is more like to tell him 'stop whining', 'be a man'. But I don't see either way works well, he will often has tears in eyes and not give in.

    and by the way, what is 'high LOG gifted'? I noticed my son is smart and fast learner at very young age, but never really thought he is gifted, until he was selected into gifted program at school and also had a WISC-IV test (FSIQ 159). I also learned the term 'twice exceptional' kids and not sure if he is one of those. I am very sure he does not have ADHD or any learning disability or other behaivor problems, but maybe with anxiety issues.

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    One of mine had a lot of anxiety at 8. He has really overcome it. There is hope that it all gets better over time with support. We found stuff to help him cope and tried to discourage him from avoiding activities. We always encouraged him to try things and if he just could not manage that he would be allowed to leave. He usually made it through a day at camp or other activities. For him knowing he had an escape plan help reduce his anxiety a lot. I just that with caution. Some kids might use the escape plan everyday. He really wanted to be able to go and participate in activities and tried hard not to use his out. He also respond very well to knowing what to expect for the day. We would go in and speak with his camp couselors about reassuring him about the days schedule. They did a good job of understanding a 5 minute conversation with him in the morning would make everyone's day go smoother. He also found chewing gum to be a great help. I know it sounds silly but he kind of channeled his restless energy into the chewing.

    At school, he had a teacher that would allow him just to go get a drink of water when he felt the anxiety coming on. He learned different breathing technics and self talk. He had a bag of books and activities with him all the time. A busy mind alleviated his ablility to hyperfocus on his worries. The trick with anxiety is often handling it before it snowballs into a full blown panic attack. We had those times of full blown panic. He became acutely award of the early signs of his own anxiety and learned how to manage it before it snowballed. The positive side of his experience is he has amazing self awareness of his emotions now. He hasn't had anxiety issues in years. It did take a solid year of kid gloves and support to help him learn and implement management skills.

    I know it is heart breaking to watch them feel such intense anxiety. Good Luck and you are definitely not alone here with this issue.

    Jtooit

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    Ahhh 159 on Wisc-IV would be a high LOG. LOG- Level of Giftedness. Your DS Is very unusually gifted. smile

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    Grest advice from others! I would agree with you that just telling someone who's anxious 'just calm down' is ineffective. You cannot logic out of anxiety because anxiety is actually a physiological response. Anxiety is our primitive (and effective) fight or flight response gone awry : rapid heart rate, shallow breathing, tense, restless, reactive, and generally uneasy. It feels awful - and thus those that experience intense anxiety will do anything to avoid it.

    Before an anxious episode begins, you can help gameplan triggers (which you found like you are already doing), but don't try to take this approach in the midst of your DS' hyperarousal...he can't access that part of his brain on full fight or flight. Instead, focus on the physical reactions of anxiety. Help him slow his breathing, relax his muscles, slow his heartrate (kids think that's amazing) through some simple relaxation exercises (there's many ideas online). You can slowly increase his ability to tolerate anxiety in tiny steps (ie: 3 minutes without an extra sweater and gradually work to 15 minutes) while helping him stay as relaxed ad he can.

    A good therapist/psychologist can help you with this approach. Also...though it may provoke it's own anxiety, I usually suggest clients get a thorough physical exam initially as some illnesses can trigger anxiety (hyperthyroidism, asthma, side effects of stimulants, steroids, antihistamines).

    GL


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