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INFORMATION FOR

Education and the Anxious Child (Dr. Eli Lebowitz, Raina Telgemeier)

August 28, 2020
  • 00:00Welcome back everybody.
  • 00:01Thank you so much for being
  • 00:04with us today or next.
  • 00:06Panel is about anxiety, which is a topic
  • 00:08that I think everybody listening and
  • 00:11participating feels acutely infected.
  • 00:13When Castle, the collaborative for academic,
  • 00:16social and emotional learning,
  • 00:17did a survey of thousands of participants
  • 00:20to ask what words describe how their
  • 00:23feeling through these pandemics.
  • 00:25Anxiety was the number one word.
  • 00:28And when we at scholastic do the
  • 00:30survey of our employees with the same.
  • 00:34Question that the same word
  • 00:36emerged as a key topic,
  • 00:38so we know that this next panel will
  • 00:40be of keen interest to everyone,
  • 00:43and I'm particularly excited about our
  • 00:46panelists because they're reuniting
  • 00:48the award winning duo of Eli Lebowitz.
  • 00:50Who's the director of the anxiety center
  • 00:52at the yellow South Study Center,
  • 00:55Ann is also a friend of the collaborative
  • 00:58and has been fielding so many questions
  • 01:02that we get from educators and.
  • 01:05And people around the country about anxiety.
  • 01:08We're able to field them to Eli
  • 01:10and he always answers.
  • 01:12So thank you,
  • 01:14Eli and thank you for being with us.
  • 01:17And Raina telgemeier is one of our
  • 01:20scholastic award winning authors who
  • 01:22focuses graphic novels and one of her
  • 01:25most recent books focused on anxiety.
  • 01:28An I myself have sent it to
  • 01:30families who are experiencing issues
  • 01:33with their children and.
  • 01:35What excites me,
  • 01:36perhaps the most is that the mission
  • 01:39of the collaborative for child and
  • 01:42family resilience is that intersection
  • 01:45between literacy and mental health.
  • 01:48And so with these two panelists,
  • 01:51we are particularly pleased
  • 01:52to put that into action.
  • 01:55So please enjoy the
  • 01:57session. So these are the
  • 01:59introduction Irina and I've been
  • 02:01making graphic novels since 2006,
  • 02:04professionally with Scholastic.
  • 02:05I started out by.
  • 02:07Illustrating the babysitters graphics
  • 02:09series books one through 4 and then
  • 02:12I published my own graphic memoir
  • 02:14called smile and I've been doing
  • 02:16original work ever since and my
  • 02:18most recent book is called guts
  • 02:19and the dial is a double entendre.
  • 02:22I like to make sure that my titles are.
  • 02:25It's about experiences that I had
  • 02:27when I was in 4th and 5th grade,
  • 02:30which is when I started experiencing anxiety.
  • 02:33So I have a little mission
  • 02:35statement when I talk to kids,
  • 02:37whether it's about anxiety, whether it's.
  • 02:39About reading and writing and drawing.
  • 02:41Because a lot of my readers are
  • 02:44interested in learning how to make stuff.
  • 02:46I have three basic pieces of advice that I
  • 02:49like to give them and they are read books,
  • 02:53talk to people, and Share your story.
  • 02:55So the first one is read books
  • 02:58and this for me,
  • 02:59is just, you know,
  • 03:01kind of the foundation of what maybe?
  • 03:04Saying when I was in elementary school,
  • 03:06I remember specifically learning to
  • 03:08read when I was in kindergarten.
  • 03:10How empowering that felt,
  • 03:11and I always loved illustrated books.
  • 03:13So picture books and heavily
  • 03:15illustrated novels and so many of my
  • 03:18books came from the Scholastic book
  • 03:20fairs in the Scholastic book clubs,
  • 03:22so I would get those little Flyers in
  • 03:24the Mail and I would get really excited
  • 03:27and order whatever I wanted to read.
  • 03:30You can see here in the slide that will
  • 03:33be for Marion versus Logan Babysitters
  • 03:35Club #23 is coming out that year.
  • 03:38Is a big babysitters club and
  • 03:40thanks to the book fairs,
  • 03:42all my classmates were reading an.
  • 03:44It's also where I got some of my comic
  • 03:46books so I was a big big fan of Calvin
  • 03:49and Hobbes by Bill Watterson and I
  • 03:52think the thing that really resonates
  • 03:54me with me or did as a kid was.
  • 03:57It's just so much fun to look at.
  • 03:59The artwork is exquisite.
  • 04:00The characters come to life even
  • 04:02though they're just ink lines on paper,
  • 04:04but these characters were so real
  • 04:06to me and they, you know.
  • 04:08Comic strip characters,
  • 04:09so they run around and they do silly
  • 04:12things and they crack a lot of jokes,
  • 04:14but Bill Watterson also really
  • 04:15tapped into like the human psyche,
  • 04:17and so this is a strip where Calvin
  • 04:19had the flu and he couldn't sleep at
  • 04:21night and he started to worry about it.
  • 04:24And so he says,
  • 04:25what if something is really wrong with
  • 04:27me and I have to go to the hospital,
  • 04:29would have basic people of tubes and hoses.
  • 04:32What if they have to operate?
  • 04:33But if the operation reels,
  • 04:35but this is my last night alive
  • 04:37and as a kid I could.
  • 04:39Totally relate to this because I too
  • 04:41was a warrior and it didn't take
  • 04:43much to set me off and assent to send
  • 04:46my brain kind of spiraling into a
  • 04:48what if situation where the simplest
  • 04:50of things made me think that I
  • 04:53might be dying or I might be feeling
  • 04:55a way that I could never escape.
  • 04:58So this was comforting,
  • 04:59I guess to see something resonated
  • 05:01like this in a comic strip.
  • 05:02And I read comics in the newspaper every day,
  • 05:05so it was like every day I was coming
  • 05:08down to breakfast and I was getting
  • 05:10just a little piece of solids.
  • 05:12And I mentioned being babysitters
  • 05:13club ban rate from the start.
  • 05:15I am a Christy and the character I
  • 05:18probably related to the least in
  • 05:19this series when I was a kid with
  • 05:21Stacy who's very sophisticated an
  • 05:23fashion conscious and she was from
  • 05:25New York City and she was cool and
  • 05:28all the other girls wanted to be her.
  • 05:31But Stacy of course has a medical
  • 05:33condition that she feels embarrassed
  • 05:34by she has diabetes.
  • 05:36And that means that she has to
  • 05:37do eat a certain way and regulate
  • 05:40her insulin levels.
  • 05:41And if she doesn't be extremely careful,
  • 05:43she can get very sick and she
  • 05:45is in the beginning at least.
  • 05:47Kind of embarrassed about it and shy to
  • 05:49talk to her friends and doesn't want
  • 05:52to reveal that something's going on with her.
  • 05:54So it's like an invisible illness that you
  • 05:57know about that nobody else knows about.
  • 05:59And I also had an invisible
  • 06:01illness growing up.
  • 06:02And that was irritable bowel syndrome,
  • 06:04so I looked normal.
  • 06:05I talked normaly,
  • 06:06acted normal but in the middle of
  • 06:08nowhere I would get stomach aches
  • 06:10and have to run to the bathroom.
  • 06:12And it's happened to all the time
  • 06:14and it seems like the more nervous
  • 06:16I got the worst my stomach felt so
  • 06:18being able to relate to a character
  • 06:21in a super popular book series
  • 06:23that everybody that was the coolest
  • 06:25character of all maybe feel a
  • 06:27little bit better.
  • 06:28Weather favorite comic strip growing up
  • 06:30was for better for worse by Lynn Johnston,
  • 06:32which is a family comic strip
  • 06:34about the Pattersons.
  • 06:35Who were they live in a suburb of Toronto?
  • 06:37I didn't even know they were Canadian
  • 06:39for like 5 years because I was like,
  • 06:42wait, they're just likely power.
  • 06:43OK,
  • 06:44but so the kids in this trip were
  • 06:46about the same age as me and Elizabeth
  • 06:48was the daughter in the family and
  • 06:50in this strip she's being teased by
  • 06:53one of her classmates because the
  • 06:54classmate just got her ears pierced.
  • 06:56And Lizzy really wants to Pierce
  • 06:58your ears too.
  • 06:59But her parents will let her,
  • 07:01so there's like this,
  • 07:02this teasing and this obnoxious quality.
  • 07:04And that's another thing that
  • 07:05I completely recognize,
  • 07:06because I also had frenemies,
  • 07:08as they now call them,
  • 07:09girls that had been in my life
  • 07:12since I was a kid.
  • 07:13Girls that were in my classroom.
  • 07:15My Girl Scout troop,
  • 07:16whose house I had been too many
  • 07:18times and they weren't always very
  • 07:20nice to me and I was extremely
  • 07:22confusing to me as a kid.
  • 07:24So knowing that Elizabeth was
  • 07:26going through something similar,
  • 07:27it even though she was fiction,
  • 07:29helped me a lot.
  • 07:30So I started reading comics
  • 07:32when I was about 9 years old
  • 07:35and got really really into them,
  • 07:37and when I was 10 at my dad gave me
  • 07:40a book to read, called barefoot,
  • 07:42get subtitle a cartoon story of Hiro
  • 07:45Shima by an artist named Keiji Nakazawa.
  • 07:47So it's a graphic novel about family growing
  • 07:50up during World War Two in Hiroshima,
  • 07:52Japan, which is of course the
  • 07:54first city that had an atomic bomb
  • 07:57dropped on it during the war,
  • 07:59and we just passed the 75th anniversary of.
  • 08:01That experience and I didn't
  • 08:03know too much about it.
  • 08:04I knew that there had been a
  • 08:06bomb that there was a war and my
  • 08:08dad gave me this comic to read.
  • 08:10And here I am reading it at
  • 08:12camp like on my camp bed.
  • 08:13I'm like who comics cool.
  • 08:14I like comics alot.
  • 08:16I like comics about kids.
  • 08:17There are silly and they do silly
  • 08:19stuff just like Calvin and Hobbes do.
  • 08:21But at the end of the first volume
  • 08:22the Bum Falls an half of the
  • 08:24characters in the book die and I was
  • 08:26so unprepared for that because to me,
  • 08:28comics were supposed to be funny.
  • 08:30They were supposed to make you happy
  • 08:32and they were always supposed to have.
  • 08:34Your punch lines or happy endings and
  • 08:36this book had none of those things.
  • 08:38In fact,
  • 08:38it ended right after the bomb
  • 08:40falls on sort of a cliffhanger
  • 08:42because there was volume.
  • 08:43Dude,
  • 08:43I didn't know there was
  • 08:44a volume 2 so it edited.
  • 08:46It was just like to be
  • 08:48continued and I just lost it.
  • 08:50I couldn't believe that
  • 08:51this had really happened,
  • 08:52that the author had been through this
  • 08:54experience and that you know that my
  • 08:56dad like given me this book to read
  • 08:59and thought I was going to like it,
  • 09:01but I don't.
  • 09:01I think like it is the wrong word.
  • 09:04I think it was important.
  • 09:05I think that this book changed my life.
  • 09:07I think this book.
  • 09:08Put me into the mindset that comics
  • 09:11were such a powerful way to tell
  • 09:13a story that I felt like I had
  • 09:15been there with GED like he and
  • 09:17I were friends and that maybe I
  • 09:19was even my leaving him myself.
  • 09:21So so comics can really put you into
  • 09:23the shoes of another character.
  • 09:24And so the empathy that I felt
  • 09:26for him and his family was just
  • 09:28extraordinary and his stuff with
  • 09:30me my whole life.
  • 09:31So I like to say that when you read books,
  • 09:34you feel less alone because you'll
  • 09:36find that you can either relate to
  • 09:38or see yourself in other characters.
  • 09:40I'm grateful that I had books
  • 09:42when I was a kid.
  • 09:44The second piece of advice is to
  • 09:46talk to people and I don't know
  • 09:48if saying those words just like
  • 09:49registers the way that I want it too,
  • 09:52because most of us talk to people
  • 09:53right like a for whatever purpose,
  • 09:55but what are we talking to each other about?
  • 09:58That is the question.
  • 09:59Are we just talking? About our day.
  • 10:01Are we talking about our lunch?
  • 10:02Are we talking about?
  • 10:05The books that we read or
  • 10:06the TV shows that we watched.
  • 10:08I was a kid who like to talk about
  • 10:10the books that I was reading.
  • 10:12So at lunchtime I would bring my
  • 10:14copies of Calvin and Hobbes to
  • 10:16school and I would just talk and
  • 10:17talk and talk about how much I liked
  • 10:20the comics and I was really geeky,
  • 10:21but I wasn't talking to my
  • 10:23friends about the deeper stuff.
  • 10:25What is it that you're so afraid of?
  • 10:28People would sometimes ask me?
  • 10:30I had a lot of anxiety and a lot
  • 10:32of it came from circumstantial
  • 10:34stuff like not doing well on tests
  • 10:36and being really bad at math.
  • 10:38And you know the stress of
  • 10:40school made me feel ill.
  • 10:41Sometimes it would give me a stomach ache,
  • 10:44but that was not the thing that
  • 10:46was really going on inside.
  • 10:48What is it that you're so afraid of?
  • 10:51It wasn't even the fact that I was
  • 10:53being bullied by my classmates,
  • 10:54which I was.
  • 10:55This girl in particular would call
  • 10:57me things like Poopy Diaper baby
  • 10:59because she had picked up on the
  • 11:01fact that I was constantly leaving
  • 11:02class to go to the bathroom.
  • 11:04And of course, if I yelled at her,
  • 11:06I was the one who got in trouble for it.
  • 11:09And that's just the kind of
  • 11:11injustice that happens to you all
  • 11:13the time when your kid.
  • 11:14But this is not what was
  • 11:16really going on the inside.
  • 11:18What is it that you're so afraid of?
  • 11:22So now I'm going to reveal my biggest fear,
  • 11:25which I've had since I was a kid.
  • 11:28I am phobic of throwing up whether
  • 11:30it's myself or other people or
  • 11:32even if I see it on televisions,
  • 11:35so that's it.
  • 11:35That's my biggest fear and thank you
  • 11:38for letting me share that with you.
  • 11:40I have to say that being able to
  • 11:43tell people what my biggest fear is
  • 11:45takes some of the sting out of it.
  • 11:47It takes some of the power out of
  • 11:50the fear and lets me talk about
  • 11:52it as if it's an object that's
  • 11:54not living inside of my body.
  • 11:57So this is what my book.
  • 11:59That's about and there is the
  • 12:00double entendre I grew up with.
  • 12:02I BS and I grew up with a phobia
  • 12:04and the two things were extremely
  • 12:06connected to one another.
  • 12:08So it's all about my guts, right?
  • 12:10So I really tried to take the
  • 12:12reader inside of a panic attack
  • 12:13because not everybody has had one.
  • 12:15I experienced my first one when I was nine,
  • 12:18and it happened because I felt
  • 12:20sick and I thought that I was
  • 12:22gonna throw up an I didn't.
  • 12:23But the fear that I might was worse than if
  • 12:26I actually had. So I had the full body.
  • 12:29You know heart racing and sweating
  • 12:31and it's so hard to describe it,
  • 12:34but as a cartoonist I have access to
  • 12:36things like sound effects and color
  • 12:39and line and being able to draw big
  • 12:42panels or small panels just to kind
  • 12:44of take the reader into how it feels.
  • 12:47And then they can put their own
  • 12:49experiences on top of that.
  • 12:51And if they see themselves
  • 12:53in this that's amazing.
  • 12:54And if they don't they can go.
  • 12:57Gosh, that sounds really terrible.
  • 12:58Friend, tell me more.
  • 13:00Um, for me it feels like the world
  • 13:03is ending an like I can't get out of
  • 13:06a little tiny space that I'm trapped
  • 13:08inside and I'll be there forever.
  • 13:11Another way that my panic and phobia
  • 13:13manifested when I was younger's that
  • 13:14I became afraid to eat because I was
  • 13:16afraid that if I ate the wrong food
  • 13:18it would give me food poisoning or
  • 13:20if I touch the wrong thing it would
  • 13:22infect me or if I eat too much of
  • 13:24something or if I eat too much sugar.
  • 13:26So my parents around this time started
  • 13:28to kind of blew it and say OK,
  • 13:30something's not right with right now
  • 13:31we need to get her some help and I'm
  • 13:34very grateful that they were able to do that.
  • 13:37Dad had just gotten a new job,
  • 13:38which meant we had health insurance,
  • 13:40which meant that I was fortunate enough to
  • 13:42be able to go and see a child psychologist.
  • 13:44So this is when I was in fifth
  • 13:47grade and her name is Lauren and
  • 13:49I didn't want to go see her.
  • 13:52Danger she was a grown up,
  • 13:53but what's interesting about therapy is
  • 13:55that it is kind of a form of storytelling,
  • 13:57because that's that's what you do.
  • 13:59You sit in a room with the person
  • 14:00and they ask you questions and you
  • 14:02try to come up with the answers
  • 14:04and the answers themselves can be
  • 14:06stories that you didn't know existed,
  • 14:07but that they were inside of you
  • 14:09the whole time.
  • 14:10So learning to tell those stories
  • 14:12is a big part of it,
  • 14:13and a lot of times she would ask me
  • 14:16questions like are you being bullied?
  • 14:18And I didn't know how to answer that,
  • 14:20because to me bullying that I was
  • 14:22being punched or kicked or tripped,
  • 14:24or you know, like physical things,
  • 14:26where is my bullies were just calling
  • 14:28me names and they were just teasing me
  • 14:31very subtly so I didn't know how to answer.
  • 14:33But gradually we started talking
  • 14:35about my life and the fact that I
  • 14:37lived in a very small apartment with
  • 14:39several siblings and had to share
  • 14:41space with them and didn't have
  • 14:43like my own space to get away too.
  • 14:46And I think honestly,
  • 14:47that space is what drawing was.
  • 14:49John was my safe.
  • 14:51Quiet personal space.
  • 14:53Anne and then again trying to
  • 14:55illustrate a panic attack.
  • 14:56It's really difficult,
  • 14:57but one of the messages that runs
  • 15:00throughout the book is to
  • 15:01try no matter what it is.
  • 15:03Whatever you're afraid of,
  • 15:04whatever you think is going
  • 15:06to hurt you in a safe space
  • 15:08like therapy or probably will.
  • 15:10So try just try it. Try talking about it.
  • 15:12Try touching it. Try eating it.
  • 15:15It really helps me.
  • 15:16But the idea that being scared
  • 15:18or being anxious is kind of
  • 15:20like standing on a spider web.
  • 15:22It's so so delicate and
  • 15:24you could fall at anytime,
  • 15:25but it's still strong and still support.
  • 15:28If this is a lot to learn.
  • 15:31But it did give me the opportunity
  • 15:32to finally open up to my friends,
  • 15:34and when I did tell them
  • 15:36I was going to therapy,
  • 15:37I was so surprised to find
  • 15:39that most of them also were.
  • 15:42Now I think it's more common.
  • 15:44I think that there's less of a
  • 15:46stigma in our current culture too.
  • 15:49Be in therapy to take medication.
  • 15:50To admit that you are you have
  • 15:52a diagnosis of some sort,
  • 15:54but I mean opening up to my
  • 15:56friends is probably one of the best
  • 15:58things that ever happened to me.
  • 16:00So I tell people to talk to people about
  • 16:03what's really going on and to be brave.
  • 16:06And the final bit of advice I have is to
  • 16:08Share your story and that's something
  • 16:10I've been doing for myself since 2010.
  • 16:13I became a graphic Alice in 2006
  • 16:15and smile is published in 2010.
  • 16:17But smile.
  • 16:18Sisters and cuts are all memoirs
  • 16:19and Rama and ghosts are fictional.
  • 16:21But they are both rooted in real life.
  • 16:24Real experiences,
  • 16:25real people,
  • 16:25and most importantly real feelings.
  • 16:27So I always love to show the
  • 16:29drawings that I did when I was a kid,
  • 16:32because kids are always curious,
  • 16:33like if I always knew how to
  • 16:35draw and how I started.
  • 16:37And and what tips I have in
  • 16:39the chips are just draw like my
  • 16:41drawings were not good when I was
  • 16:43young going on the left is from
  • 16:45shortly before my second birthday.
  • 16:47It's just a scribble.
  • 16:48It's dedicated to Grandma,
  • 16:50the one on the right is from closer
  • 16:52to age 3 or 4 and at least at this
  • 16:55point I was starting to see shapes.
  • 16:57I was starting to understand that people
  • 16:59have bodies and I guess pizzas for his.
  • 17:01I don't know what that's about
  • 17:03and then these are some of my
  • 17:05first comics that I ever made.
  • 17:07From about age 10 and it was really
  • 17:10just flirting to figure things out
  • 17:11and I discovered things like it's
  • 17:13easier to draw the box 1st and then
  • 17:15draw the picture inside of the box.
  • 17:17It's also easier to write the
  • 17:19words first and then draw the
  • 17:21word balloon around the words,
  • 17:22but I didn't have a teacher.
  • 17:24I didn't have any instructive books.
  • 17:26I just sat down and figured it
  • 17:29out and overtime I improved.
  • 17:31And in college I was given an
  • 17:33assignment in a cartooning class
  • 17:34and I went to the school of Visual
  • 17:36Arts in New York City, 'cause they
  • 17:38have a car training program there.
  • 17:40So I was able to take courses with
  • 17:42actual cartoonists and structures,
  • 17:43and I learned so much.
  • 17:45So one of our assignments was
  • 17:46to draw a short comic about the
  • 17:49first comic that we ever read.
  • 17:51I chose not to draw and
  • 17:53write about comic strips.
  • 17:54I chose to write about the experience
  • 17:56of reading barefoot again and how
  • 17:58it affected me and how I was camping
  • 18:00with my family and how my mom asked
  • 18:03me how I was doing and I said,
  • 18:05I think that book ruins my life and she
  • 18:07said maybe it actually made your life better.
  • 18:10You just haven't realized it yet,
  • 18:12and she's right, of course,
  • 18:14and I have my job.
  • 18:15I I illustrate books for
  • 18:17scholastic because of this story,
  • 18:18because this was published as a mini comic.
  • 18:21I was stabling at a comic convention
  • 18:23and one of the people that bought
  • 18:25him any comment from me at that
  • 18:27convention was David Saylor,
  • 18:29Kuzia Toryal, Director of graphics,
  • 18:30and he loved the story and he
  • 18:32said this is great. I'd love to.
  • 18:34I'd love to work with you.
  • 18:36I'd like to publish you.
  • 18:38I'd love to publish this story
  • 18:39that was in 2004.
  • 18:41I still haven't published that story
  • 18:42as a full fledged graphic novel,
  • 18:44but I've done so much else in the
  • 18:47meantime so that story was also
  • 18:49republished in Japan afew years ago.
  • 18:51Favorite game was banned in one of the
  • 18:53prefectures because it's been pretty
  • 18:55controversial over the years and a
  • 18:57lot of people think that it should
  • 18:59not be read by children because war is awful.
  • 19:01An war is terrible and children
  • 19:03shouldn't be exposed to that,
  • 19:04and I think there was also a
  • 19:06little bit of concern that,
  • 19:08like it wasn't showing what was accurate.
  • 19:10So the conversation about war and propaganda
  • 19:12has been going on for a long time,
  • 19:14but I wrote a short story about it an I wrote
  • 19:17it from the point of view of my kids self,
  • 19:20and so somebody discovered my work.
  • 19:23And asked if they could reprint it,
  • 19:25but translated into Japanese and
  • 19:26just put it up on their website.
  • 19:28Still like their kids can
  • 19:30see that in American child.
  • 19:31Read the book and then it was helpful
  • 19:33and this story just picked up so much
  • 19:36steam it was republished in the Esaki
  • 19:38times and then I was being interviewed
  • 19:40by Japanese reporters and getting
  • 19:42emails from people thanking me for this.
  • 19:44And so I like to say that like this,
  • 19:47this was a little three page
  • 19:48story that I wrote in the year
  • 19:512002 and it still has traction.
  • 19:52I'm still hearing.
  • 19:53People who appreciate the fact
  • 19:55that I wrote it, glad I wrote it.
  • 19:57I'm going to tell my story and then after.
  • 20:00Publishing short mini comics like
  • 20:02this one I started working on
  • 20:04another personal story about an
  • 20:05experience that I had when I was in
  • 20:08middle school where I tripped and
  • 20:09fell and knocked out my 2 front permanent
  • 20:12teeth so you can see on the slide here,
  • 20:14which was taken just a few months later
  • 20:17that I knocked the two front ones out and
  • 20:19then my dentist put them back into my head,
  • 20:22but when he did so,
  • 20:24the two front teeth were dislocated.
  • 20:25They suddenly set up higher in my
  • 20:27mouth then they were supposed to,
  • 20:29so it looked weird.
  • 20:30I look like a vampire had this
  • 20:32strange gap in the front of my mouth.
  • 20:34I also had a snaggle tooth.
  • 20:37So I started just writing this
  • 20:39experience 20 years later because I had
  • 20:41been telling that story over and over
  • 20:43again that I just need to get it out.
  • 20:45I just need to get it down the page.
  • 20:47So that's what smile is.
  • 20:49Smile is that true story?
  • 20:50It's about not being at My 2 front
  • 20:52teeth and then spending 4 1/2
  • 20:54years dealing with the outcome.
  • 20:55Not just what happened in
  • 20:57the orthodontist chair,
  • 20:58which was pretty interesting,
  • 20:59but also what happened socially and
  • 21:01what happened on the inside and
  • 21:02how I felt about the experience.
  • 21:04And I was.
  • 21:05Blown away by how many people
  • 21:07responded to smile,
  • 21:08not necessarily because they had
  • 21:10knocked out their two front teeth,
  • 21:12but because they've been through
  • 21:14something else that made them feel
  • 21:16different or made them feel like
  • 21:18they didn't belong or didn't fit in.
  • 21:20And so I've had millions of
  • 21:22conversations over the past 10
  • 21:23years with kids and with grownups.
  • 21:25And with people that remember some
  • 21:27of the little touchstones that
  • 21:29I put into the story,
  • 21:30this book is changed my life completely
  • 21:33because I wanted to tell my story.
  • 21:35And I also wrote sisters, which is.
  • 21:37More about my siblings and I and
  • 21:39having to take a road trip with them.
  • 21:42Always fun for everybody.
  • 21:43Another story that people could
  • 21:44relate to and most of the the
  • 21:46reader email like it is.
  • 21:47I can relate to this book
  • 21:48because I have a sister do.
  • 21:51Very cool and one of my
  • 21:53fictional books is called ghosts,
  • 21:55and it's a supernatural story
  • 21:57about family and illness and
  • 21:58all sorts of things that didn't
  • 22:00really happen in real life.
  • 22:02But the main character cat,
  • 22:03who's the older sister suffers from anxiety,
  • 22:06and so I talk a lot about just
  • 22:08who she is and how she feels.
  • 22:11And when I would give presentations
  • 22:13about this book on my book tour,
  • 22:15I would say so cat has anxiety and she
  • 22:18and I actually have that in common.
  • 22:21And then I would move on to the
  • 22:23next slide and people were like,
  • 22:24wait, wait, wait, tell us more.
  • 22:26That's really interesting because
  • 22:27we know a lot of people that have
  • 22:29anxiety and we want to hear bout yours.
  • 22:31So I wasn't sure if I was ready
  • 22:33to talk about it.
  • 22:34But I got so much feedback people
  • 22:35wanted to hear that story and so that's
  • 22:37the reason that I wrote butts was I
  • 22:39had this conversation over and over.
  • 22:41So I felt like, alright,
  • 22:42let's let's talk about the
  • 22:43therapy that I've been through.
  • 22:45Let's talk about some of the
  • 22:46coping techniques and justice,
  • 22:47the ways that I learned to breathe in
  • 22:49the ways that I learn to ground my feet.
  • 22:52And the ways that over the years I've
  • 22:54been able to not sure or fix anxiety,
  • 22:56but just to learn to live with it.
  • 22:58And for me, I think the best coping strategy
  • 23:01I'd ever had is that I like to draw.
  • 23:03I like to tell stories.
  • 23:06Please tell kids.
  • 23:07It's OK if you're not
  • 23:09an artist or cartoonist.
  • 23:11There's so many other ways
  • 23:12to express yourselves.
  • 23:13Find 1 whatever it is,
  • 23:15whether it's you know making
  • 23:17YouTube videos or performing plays
  • 23:19for your friends or writing.
  • 23:20Or Gosh,
  • 23:21there's so many ways to tell your story.
  • 23:23Choose whatever feels the
  • 23:25most authentic for you.
  • 23:26I did that, and I'm glad that I did.
  • 23:29Because when you Share your story,
  • 23:31it helps other people feel less alone.
  • 23:34Thank you.
  • 23:34Thank you so much.
  • 23:38Irina, thank you so much
  • 23:40for sharing your story.
  • 23:41It was completely relatable.
  • 23:43I think for everyone watching
  • 23:45an I think that the way you
  • 23:47tell your story so beautifully,
  • 23:49both in in your books and in person.
  • 23:52So thank you for sharing and
  • 23:54that advice to read books.
  • 23:56Talk to people,
  • 23:58be brave and Share your story.
  • 24:00I think I just.
  • 24:02You know,
  • 24:03for great pieces of advice for
  • 24:05educators who are dealing with
  • 24:07children and their staff going
  • 24:08back to school and and covid.
  • 24:10So thank you so much and will have
  • 24:13questions at the end of the session
  • 24:15and now we'd like to hear from Eli.
  • 24:20Alright, thank you very much.
  • 24:22I'm Eli Lebowitz about the
  • 24:24yell child study center.
  • 24:26Ann. I study entry,
  • 24:28childhood anxiety and thank you
  • 24:30very much for that wonderful talk.
  • 24:33I can say that I read and loved guts,
  • 24:38but more importantly,
  • 24:39as the father of three children,
  • 24:42one of whom is a particularly
  • 24:44anxious child and the other who
  • 24:47are sometimes anxious children.
  • 24:49More importantly than I loved it,
  • 24:52they loved it and so could not
  • 24:55recommend it more strongly.
  • 24:57For anybody interested in overcoming anxiety.
  • 25:00So I'm going to bring up some slides as well.
  • 25:04OK, what I'm going to do is talk a
  • 25:07little bit about childhood anxiety
  • 25:10and childhood anxiety problems.
  • 25:13Hopefully will be able to understand
  • 25:15these problems just a little bit more,
  • 25:18and think about how.
  • 25:21We can detect them and address them
  • 25:25both at home and in the school setting.
  • 25:30So understanding, noticing and helping.
  • 25:35I know conflicts of interest to disclose,
  • 25:39So what we talk about?
  • 25:42Anxiety disorders, anxiety problems.
  • 25:44These are the main anxiety problems that
  • 25:48we currently diagnose and see in children.
  • 25:51I'll just say what they are really.
  • 25:55Briefly, we have our phobias
  • 25:57just starting at the top.
  • 26:00Phobias, phobias are strong, exaggerated,
  • 26:03irrational fears of anything could be vomit.
  • 26:07Could be many other things as well.
  • 26:09Sometimes it's an animal,
  • 26:10sometimes natural phenomenon like the
  • 26:12dark or are storms or things like that.
  • 26:14If you ever really want to waste
  • 26:17a day or two of your life,
  • 26:19Google things that end in phobia
  • 26:21and you'll see that people love
  • 26:23nothing more than to find the Latin
  • 26:25word or Greek word for something
  • 26:27and attack on phobia at the end.
  • 26:29But actually there are certain
  • 26:31phobias that are a lot more common
  • 26:33and they have to do with the things
  • 26:36that pose threats to human beings.
  • 26:38Over the course of our evolutionary history,
  • 26:41and so there are a lot more children
  • 26:44who are scared of animals than there
  • 26:48are children who are scared of.
  • 26:51Electrical sockets, for example.
  • 26:52Even though many parents would probably
  • 26:55prefer their child be just a little bit
  • 26:57more wary and cautious of that instead,
  • 27:00and phobias can really disrupt your life,
  • 27:02even though they seem to be so
  • 27:05specifically focused on a particular thing.
  • 27:07Our tendency to generalize our
  • 27:09avoidance of the things that we fear
  • 27:11means that even a very specific phobia
  • 27:14can have an extremely disruptive
  • 27:15impact on a child's life.
  • 27:17So, for example,
  • 27:18that child who is afraid of dogs.
  • 27:21May not only be afraid when they faced
  • 27:23by a large scary dog wants to bite them,
  • 27:26they may also be scared of seeing a
  • 27:29picture of a dog on TV or in a book.
  • 27:32They may be scared of leaving the
  • 27:34house at all because what if there
  • 27:36is a dog outside and so they can
  • 27:38really impact and impair Childs
  • 27:40functioning on a day to day basis?
  • 27:43Panic.
  • 27:44Random mention panic in her in her talk,
  • 27:48and for those who haven't experienced a
  • 27:50panic attack in the past panic attacks.
  • 27:53It's a little bit like a wire tripping
  • 27:56in your brain and your just awash in
  • 27:59these tremendous waves of anxiety.
  • 28:01But crash over you with racing heart
  • 28:04and short breath and trembling.
  • 28:06Sometimes your perception seems to
  • 28:08shift so it feels like the world
  • 28:11looks weird or something is strange,
  • 28:13and it's a very scary and uncomfortable.
  • 28:16I'm experience and a key thing to know
  • 28:19about panic attacks is that they're
  • 28:22actually not very dangerous themselves.
  • 28:25Your child's body isn't working
  • 28:27significantly harder when they're
  • 28:28having a panic attack then it
  • 28:30does when they run a quick Sprint.
  • 28:32When you run quickly,
  • 28:33your body also is showing similar responces.
  • 28:36Your heart races and you might tremble
  • 28:38and you might be out of breath
  • 28:41and you might be sweaty,
  • 28:42but you know why your body is doing
  • 28:45that because you just ran and so
  • 28:47that makes it understandable and
  • 28:48controllable in a way that's not frightening
  • 28:51when it happens without a clear explanation.
  • 28:54That is, when you are the most terrified.
  • 28:56Of it, and you become very scared that
  • 28:58you'll have additional attacks like that.
  • 29:01And that's when panic
  • 29:02disorder really sets in.
  • 29:03When you get so scared of having another
  • 29:05panic attack that you worry about it
  • 29:07constant like or you start to avoid
  • 29:10situations where you may have a panic attack.
  • 29:12For example, maybe you had it in the mall.
  • 29:15Now you never want to go to the mall
  • 29:18anymore or you had it on the bus.
  • 29:20Now you don't want to ride the bus anymore.
  • 29:23I'm very closely linked to panic disorder is
  • 29:25a Gora Phobia which is avoiding situations.
  • 29:27In my life,
  • 29:28because you think you might have panic
  • 29:30like symptoms and you'll be trapped
  • 29:32there and you won't be able to escape.
  • 29:34And maybe it will be humiliating.
  • 29:36'cause other people would notice it.
  • 29:37And so you avoid those situations.
  • 29:39And that's a goreaphobia.
  • 29:41Generalized anxiety,
  • 29:42I'm going through these fairly quickly.
  • 29:45Generalized anxiety disorder is you
  • 29:47could think of this as chronic worry.
  • 29:50It's when your mind is taken over by these
  • 29:54persistent chronic worries that are hard
  • 29:57to stop and that really can be exhausting.
  • 30:00They can take a tremendous toll.
  • 30:02It's like having an antenna on
  • 30:04your child's head that is tuned to
  • 30:06pick up anything there is to worry
  • 30:08about it and then just run with it,
  • 30:10sometimes for hours.
  • 30:11So maybe you heard something on
  • 30:13the news about COVID-19 and now
  • 30:14you're worried about that where you
  • 30:16heard something about cell phones
  • 30:18and cancer and you start thinking
  • 30:19of all the people in your life.
  • 30:21We use a cell phone,
  • 30:23which Is everybody and so are
  • 30:24they all going to get cancer.
  • 30:26Will they all died now and one of the
  • 30:29ironies of Generalized Anxiety is that it's.
  • 30:31Often those times when you would
  • 30:33otherwise have the opportunity to
  • 30:35rest to rebuild your stores of energy,
  • 30:37when those worries come up the
  • 30:39most you might be focused on them
  • 30:41less when you're really busy,
  • 30:43or you're playing a sports
  • 30:44game or something like that,
  • 30:46but then you're trying to relax.
  • 30:48You're watching a movie,
  • 30:49or you're lying in bed at
  • 30:51night and trying to sleep.
  • 30:53And all those worries come up so you're
  • 30:55robbed of the opportunity to actually
  • 30:57recreate your energy and to get rest.
  • 30:59And that's why generalized
  • 31:01anxiety will often.
  • 31:02Need to sleep deprivation and to
  • 31:04illness because your immune system
  • 31:06gets wear down your fatigued your
  • 31:09attention is impaired because you're
  • 31:11so tired and many children will also
  • 31:14start to develop aches and pains
  • 31:16like stomach aches and back aches.
  • 31:19And so this really takes a tremendous toll.
  • 31:23Social anxiety disorder,
  • 31:25also called social phobia,
  • 31:26is as it sounds, social phobia.
  • 31:28Isn't it kind of Extreme,
  • 31:30Impairing Shyness where you fear
  • 31:32the negative evaluation of other
  • 31:34people and so you might be avoidant
  • 31:37of situations where
  • 31:38you'll call attention to yourself,
  • 31:40like talking to somebody or raising
  • 31:42your hand in class, for example,
  • 31:44or going to the school outing or
  • 31:47meeting or party or anything like that.
  • 31:50And it's important to remember that
  • 31:52children with social anxiety disorder.
  • 31:54Not this interested in social contact.
  • 31:56They may work hard to avoid social situations
  • 31:59because they fear that they will go poorly.
  • 32:01Will make a fool of himself,
  • 32:03will say the wrong thing
  • 32:05will be an awkward silence,
  • 32:06and so they cut themselves
  • 32:08off from social interaction.
  • 32:09But they can also be very lonely and
  • 32:11wish that they had friendships and
  • 32:13interactions with peers where they did
  • 32:15feel comfortable where they didn't have
  • 32:17to worry about how things are going to go.
  • 32:21Separation anxiety disorder,
  • 32:22which is particularly common in
  • 32:24young children but not limited to
  • 32:26young children's fear of separation
  • 32:27from your caregivers.
  • 32:28Here, attachment figures,
  • 32:29typically your parents and that can
  • 32:31be a fear of something that will
  • 32:33happen to me when my parents aren't.
  • 32:35There may be a burglar will come
  • 32:37and take me where it can be.
  • 32:39A fear that something will happen
  • 32:41to your parents when they are away,
  • 32:43like getting in a car accident for
  • 32:45things like that and then they won't
  • 32:47come home and will be alone and children.
  • 32:49Separation anxiety will sometimes fear
  • 32:51not just long separations like I don't
  • 32:53want my parents to go away for the weekend.
  • 32:56It can also be I don't want to
  • 32:57be in another room from that.
  • 32:59I don't want to close the door when I'm
  • 33:01in the bathroom because I wanted to be
  • 33:03able to see my parents and speak with
  • 33:05them where I can't sleep alone at night.
  • 33:08And I included here also OC D,
  • 33:10which is obsessive compulsive disorder
  • 33:12and obsessive compulsive disorder is
  • 33:14made up of obsessions and compulsions.
  • 33:16The O is the obsessions and those
  • 33:19are intrusive thoughts that come
  • 33:20unbidden into my mind and unwanted.
  • 33:22But I can't stop them.
  • 33:24And they made me scared or uncomfortable.
  • 33:27It can be thoughts like Downing.
  • 33:29did I do that thing that I know I did,
  • 33:32because I remember? But what if I didn't?
  • 33:35And so maybe I feel the need to check?
  • 33:38And that is the.
  • 33:40See the compulsion that
  • 33:41behavior ritualized behaviors.
  • 33:42Sometimes it seems like
  • 33:43extreme superstitions.
  • 33:44Having to repeat behaviors
  • 33:45or do them a special way.
  • 33:47Touch something a certain
  • 33:48number of times for example.
  • 33:50Or maybe I'm in my obsessions are
  • 33:52around symmetry and how things are
  • 33:54arranged and I have to arrange the
  • 33:57things in my room a certain way or
  • 33:59even create symmetry in my body by
  • 34:01evening out the two sides of my body.
  • 34:04Like touching something with my right hand.
  • 34:06If I touched it with my left hand.
  • 34:09And these can be very strange thoughts.
  • 34:11They can seem like strange
  • 34:13thoughts because we don't talk
  • 34:14about our obsessions usually,
  • 34:16even though even people without OC
  • 34:18D when you ask them anonymously.
  • 34:20Do you ever have thoughts like OC D thoughts?
  • 34:23Most people say yes, but they don't
  • 34:26say them out loud because they feel
  • 34:28strange and so a child who has OC D
  • 34:31can feel like they're losing their
  • 34:33mind or they're very strange or crazy,
  • 34:36which makes the whole experience
  • 34:38of the disorder that much. Worse,
  • 34:40so those are the main anxiety disorders,
  • 34:42but it's also important to remember
  • 34:44that anxiety itself is not a disease.
  • 34:47It's not a disorder were supposed
  • 34:49to have anxiety in our lives.
  • 34:51You could have two little anxiety in your
  • 34:54life, just like you can have too much.
  • 34:56In fact, if you have too little anxiety,
  • 34:59that's a risk factor as well,
  • 35:01because people with significantly low
  • 35:03anxiety may get into trouble more because
  • 35:06anxiety helps us to stay out of trouble.
  • 35:08They may get into accidents,
  • 35:10because anxiety helps us to stay away from.
  • 35:13Dangers and it's important to remember
  • 35:15that at different developmental stages,
  • 35:17children are prone to different
  • 35:18kinds of fears and anxiety,
  • 35:20and some of these are likely to
  • 35:22resolve even without treatment.
  • 35:24So the first time your child comes
  • 35:26into the room and said, I said,
  • 35:29I think there's a monster under my bed.
  • 35:32You don't necessarily have to give them
  • 35:34Prozac or even take them to the Doctor,
  • 35:37But.
  • 35:37We, the supporters that we were just
  • 35:40talking about on the previous slide.
  • 35:43Those are anxiety problems that
  • 35:45are persistent,
  • 35:45will diagnose and anxiety disorder
  • 35:47when a child has significantly
  • 35:49elevated levels of anxiety over
  • 35:51a significant period of time,
  • 35:53and it's impairing their function,
  • 35:55whether that's their ability to go
  • 35:56to school and function academically,
  • 35:59whether it's their ability to
  • 36:00function socially and interact
  • 36:02with peers in our relationships,
  • 36:04whether it's the family life that's
  • 36:06being impaired by the anxiety problem.
  • 36:08Or just their own personal feeling
  • 36:11of well being like the child is
  • 36:14losing sleep for the child whose
  • 36:16appetite is affected or who is just
  • 36:19suffering and those anxiety disorders,
  • 36:22not just the occasional,
  • 36:23sometimes anxiety which is going
  • 36:25to be true of every child,
  • 36:28but the anxiety disorders are
  • 36:30actually extremely common in
  • 36:32children and adolescents and adults.
  • 36:34They are the most common mental
  • 36:37health problem, more common.
  • 36:40Other mental health problems.
  • 36:41Even then, attention deficit disorder,
  • 36:44which is another very commonly diagnosed
  • 36:46problem I put on this next slide.
  • 36:48Some other problems that are,
  • 36:50I think we think of us fairly common
  • 36:53phenomena like my child has a cavity
  • 36:56that needs to be filled or my child
  • 36:59is overweight or needs glasses.
  • 37:01These are the anxiety disorders,
  • 37:03and so we're talking about
  • 37:05extremely common problems.
  • 37:06We currently estimate that approximately
  • 37:08one in three children's going to have a
  • 37:11significant clinical anxiety disorder.
  • 37:12At some point,
  • 37:14by the time they reached adulthood
  • 37:16and those problems are likely to
  • 37:19come along with additional ones,
  • 37:21because anxiety is often comorbid,
  • 37:23meaning it it comes together or
  • 37:26Co occurs with other problems
  • 37:28like mood disorders like substance
  • 37:31disorders in teenagers in particular.
  • 37:34Substance abuse can sometimes
  • 37:35be a form of self medication
  • 37:38for an anxiety problem,
  • 37:39consider the child with social
  • 37:41anxiety who never has a relaxed,
  • 37:43comfortable, fun social interaction
  • 37:45because they're always so worried.
  • 37:47But then maybe there at some
  • 37:49gathering and someone gives them
  • 37:51something to smoke and they do.
  • 37:54And suddenly there relaxed and they're
  • 37:56able to talk and they are able to tell
  • 37:59jokes and people even laugh at their jokes.
  • 38:02Maybe because they're high.
  • 38:04And there enjoying that situation so
  • 38:07different from their normal experience
  • 38:10that it creates some risk for them to
  • 38:13seek out that sensation through use
  • 38:15of substances in the future as well.
  • 38:20And So what does?
  • 38:22Anxiety look like.
  • 38:23Let's think about that was understand a
  • 38:25little bit more about anxiety problems.
  • 38:27But how can we detect this these problems?
  • 38:30What does anxiety look like?
  • 38:32Well, the truth of the matter is that
  • 38:34anxiety can look like a lot of different
  • 38:37things you may have in your mind.
  • 38:39The mental image of what an
  • 38:41anxious child looks like.
  • 38:42Maybe they look like they're
  • 38:44cowering in the corner and Anne,
  • 38:46looking away and averting
  • 38:47their gaze and looking scared.
  • 38:49And that is true for some anxious children.
  • 38:51But anxiety can also look like.
  • 38:53Other things it can look like
  • 38:56oppositionality the child who is seems
  • 38:59to be defiant and not getting along,
  • 39:02is often driven by anxiety because
  • 39:04they're avoiding the things that
  • 39:06make them anxious and trying to
  • 39:09oppose anything that's likely
  • 39:11to trigger their anxiety.
  • 39:13And like perfectionism,
  • 39:14rigidity, self criticism,
  • 39:15anger so many people forget that
  • 39:18anger is a significant part of
  • 39:21anxiety and the best way I think too.
  • 39:24Not forget that is to think of that
  • 39:27simple phrase fight or flight.
  • 39:28Everybody knows that freeze fight
  • 39:30or flight and yet so often we
  • 39:32forget that half of that is fight.
  • 39:35And what it means is that anxiety
  • 39:37can drive us to avoidance behaviors
  • 39:39through feelings of fear.
  • 39:41But it can also drive us too aggressive
  • 39:43behaviors through feelings of anger
  • 39:45and irritability and even rage.
  • 39:47This is particularly important
  • 39:49for teachers because it's a lot
  • 39:51easier to look at the child who
  • 39:53looks like your classic, scared,
  • 39:55anxious child and think, oh,
  • 39:57that must be an anxious child.
  • 39:59But when you see.
  • 40:00Your child,
  • 40:01he seems upset and you come over
  • 40:03to them and put a hand on their
  • 40:06shoulder and they punch you.
  • 40:07It's a lot harder to think.
  • 40:09Maybe that's an anxious child,
  • 40:11but that anxiety can drive that
  • 40:12behavior just like it can drive
  • 40:14the avoidance behavior.
  • 40:15Not to say that all aggression
  • 40:17is anxiety driven.
  • 40:18There are other things that can
  • 40:20drive aggressive behavior as well,
  • 40:22but it is important to consider it.
  • 40:25There's a metaphor I like to use to
  • 40:27capture a little bit of what it's
  • 40:29like to be an anxious child and
  • 40:31to live with anxiety as a child,
  • 40:33something that I also have some
  • 40:35personal first hand experience with,
  • 40:36and that is it's a metaphor that
  • 40:38actually comes from a period,
  • 40:40and by value. Findings in the army.
  • 40:42And I don't know if anyone listening on this
  • 40:44call was in military or was in the army,
  • 40:47but I had training that prepares you for
  • 40:49how you should behave if you find yourself
  • 40:52in a minefield and have to walk out of it.
  • 40:55And the truth of matter is
  • 40:56you don't need that training.
  • 40:58You just need a little bit of common sense,
  • 41:01because if you have any common sense
  • 41:03in some sense of self preservation,
  • 41:05you're going to walk differently in a
  • 41:07minefield from how you walk in other places.
  • 41:09And I think the two big differences and
  • 41:11how you walk in a minefield capture
  • 41:14elements of what it's like to live your
  • 41:16life in a minefield as a child with
  • 41:18a lot of anxiety who experiences the
  • 41:20world like a minefield where things
  • 41:22could blow up on them at any moment.
  • 41:25One differences.
  • 41:25When you're in a minefield,
  • 41:27you don't take extra steps.
  • 41:28You take us few steps as possible.
  • 41:30It's not worth the risk of a step
  • 41:32that's not completely necessary.
  • 41:34So for example,
  • 41:34if I'm at home and I'm in my yard and
  • 41:37I see this is rabbit that visits my
  • 41:40yard periodically, and if he's there,
  • 41:42I might wander over closer to get
  • 41:44a closer look 'cause he's sweet,
  • 41:45but when I'm in a minefield,
  • 41:47if I see a rabbit,
  • 41:49I don't wander over closer because
  • 41:50it's not worth the risk.
  • 41:52I wish the rabbit good luck,
  • 41:54and I hope he makes it out.
  • 41:56But I don't take the extra steps
  • 41:58and think of the child with anxiety
  • 42:00and all of the potentially positive
  • 42:03experiences that they forgo because
  • 42:04of the risk of a potentially
  • 42:06catastrophic and negative experience.
  • 42:08Like could I go to the school trip?
  • 42:11Sure, will I go no,
  • 42:12because what if it goes terribly
  • 42:14and we get lossed,
  • 42:16then we all die or everybody ridicules me,
  • 42:18etc.
  • 42:19The other thing that is different when
  • 42:21you're in a minefield is that you're
  • 42:24going to show if you have any brains at all,
  • 42:27you're going to show a preference.
  • 42:29In fact,
  • 42:30I would say a fanatical preference
  • 42:32if at all possible,
  • 42:33to step where you've already stacked.
  • 42:35So if you have to backtrack and walk back
  • 42:38'cause you went too far in One Direction,
  • 42:40you're going to want to put your feet in
  • 42:43the very same place and not somewhere new,
  • 42:46because everything you've tried
  • 42:47already is tested and safe and
  • 42:49everything else is much more dangerous.
  • 42:51And again,
  • 42:51think of the child with anxiety
  • 42:53and the preference that they often
  • 42:55show for the familiar for the
  • 42:57pattern and the aversion to novelty,
  • 42:59and to change because everything new.
  • 43:01Feels so much more dangerous.
  • 43:07Those are mainly behavioral changes
  • 43:09that we see in anxious children
  • 43:12will see the avoidance behavior,
  • 43:14the pattern and repetition behavior.
  • 43:16There are also other changes that occur
  • 43:19in a child when they are anxious.
  • 43:22Their cognition,
  • 43:23meaning their thoughts change.
  • 43:24We think differently when we are anxious,
  • 43:27we focus on the things that make us anxious
  • 43:30at the expense of focusing on other things.
  • 43:34And that makes sense,
  • 43:35because if you were coping
  • 43:37with a real danger,
  • 43:38like a truck that's about to hit you,
  • 43:40it doesn't make sense to think
  • 43:41about other things.
  • 43:42It makes sense to push everything
  • 43:43else aside and deal with the threat
  • 43:45and only go back to the other things
  • 43:47after the threat has been dealt with.
  • 43:49But when you have an anxiety
  • 43:51disorder and you always feel like
  • 43:52a truck is about to run you over,
  • 43:54it means it's very hard to
  • 43:55think about other things.
  • 43:56So you may be sitting in class and your
  • 43:59teacher wants you to listen to them,
  • 44:00but your brain is thinking about what if
  • 44:03mom doesn't come to pick me up at the
  • 44:05end of the school day and I'm left alone.
  • 44:07And that makes it very hard to
  • 44:10concentrate on anything else.
  • 44:11We also tend to overestimate the
  • 44:13likelihood of risks and negative
  • 44:15events when we are feeling anxious,
  • 44:17our emotions change.
  • 44:18We feel fear.
  • 44:19We feel anger and it's harder
  • 44:21to feel positive emotions like
  • 44:22happiness and excitement and
  • 44:24interest and enthusiasm and etc.
  • 44:26And of course our body changes.
  • 44:28We have the short term acute changes
  • 44:30like the racing heart etc and we have
  • 44:33those longer term changes like the
  • 44:35physical pains and sleep and fatigue.
  • 44:39So. What do we want to do when we're trying
  • 44:43to help a child who is coping with anxiety?
  • 44:47What would we want,
  • 44:48kids and parents and teachers to know?
  • 44:50One thing is important to
  • 44:52normalize the problem.
  • 44:53To remember that anxiety is a normal
  • 44:55phenomenon and that lots of children are
  • 44:57struggling with elevated levels of anxiety.
  • 45:00We explain anxiety to children as an alarm
  • 45:02system that is there to help keep them safe,
  • 45:05but that cannot function that
  • 45:07can go off for the wrong reason
  • 45:09and kids are familiar with this.
  • 45:11Often I'll ask a child,
  • 45:13have you ever heard a car alarm go
  • 45:15off and invariably they say yes,
  • 45:17and then I'll ask them,
  • 45:18have you ever heard a car alarm go
  • 45:21off because the car was being stolen
  • 45:23and generally they say no, I haven't.
  • 45:25And what does that tell us?
  • 45:27It tells us that alarms are not perfect,
  • 45:29but sometimes they go off
  • 45:31for the wrong reason.
  • 45:32And when you hear in alarm,
  • 45:34you can't decide whether it's a real alarm
  • 45:36or a false alarm based on how loud it's so.
  • 45:39The fact that your body is
  • 45:41very anxious right now.
  • 45:42Doesn't mean that it's a real danger.
  • 45:44In order to determine if it's
  • 45:46a real alarm or a false alarm,
  • 45:48you have to check the reality you have
  • 45:50to ask yourself real life questions
  • 45:52like he's my car actually being stolen,
  • 45:55or if my smoke alarm went off,
  • 45:57is there really a fire?
  • 45:58Or maybe moms calling something or dance
  • 46:01cooking something and made some smoke?
  • 46:02We talk about building up anxiety muscles,
  • 46:04meaning the need to tolerate anxiety to
  • 46:07cope with anxiety and not to avoid it.
  • 46:09And we explained to children the
  • 46:11anxiety curve, which is the idea.
  • 46:13That our anxiety goes up,
  • 46:14but it also comes back down.
  • 46:16Our body knows how to bring
  • 46:18the anxiety back down,
  • 46:19but we have to give it a chance to do it.
  • 46:23We can't interrupt that process
  • 46:25by avoidance because then we'll
  • 46:26be anxious again the next time.
  • 46:28Whereas if we let that process happen,
  • 46:30if we let the anxiety go up without avoiding,
  • 46:33but also let it come back down,
  • 46:35now will be in a new reality where
  • 46:37we haven't avoided and we're still.
  • 46:39And we're feeling calm again and that
  • 46:42will help us to be less anxious.
  • 46:44The next time around.
  • 46:47And we teach physical calming skills
  • 46:49like muscle relaxation or deep breathing,
  • 46:51and there's many scripts you can find
  • 46:53online for how to teach deep breathing
  • 46:56or how to practice muscle relaxation.
  • 46:58And they're all great,
  • 47:00and you could just find any one of them,
  • 47:03and it will probably be useful for
  • 47:06you just taking two minutes of slow,
  • 47:08deep breaths is a great way to calm
  • 47:11your body down and start turning
  • 47:13off that alarm.
  • 47:14And we teach cognitive skills like.
  • 47:17Challenging your anxious thoughts,
  • 47:18we call it stop sometimes.
  • 47:20Like for an as an acronym for.
  • 47:22Are you feeling scared?
  • 47:24What is the thought that you're
  • 47:26having and what is an alternative
  • 47:28thought that might be a little bit
  • 47:30more realistic and then give yourself
  • 47:32a high 5 some praise for having
  • 47:34challenge your own, your own anxiety.
  • 47:36And it's important to think
  • 47:38about how we as the adults,
  • 47:40whether that is teachers in the classroom
  • 47:42or whether that is parents in the home.
  • 47:45How we respond to a child's anxiety.
  • 47:47And that's a really important component
  • 47:50as well, and I would say that our goal,
  • 47:53as the caregivers, educators,
  • 47:54and the teacher and the parents is to be
  • 47:57supportive in response to a child's anxiety.
  • 47:59The way to be supportive is to show
  • 48:02your child through your words and
  • 48:04your actions to show them a message
  • 48:06that includes both an acceptance
  • 48:08of what the child is experiencing.
  • 48:10So don't try to negate it.
  • 48:12Don't go with oh, don't worry about it or no,
  • 48:16it's not not a big deal.
  • 48:18Or just suck it up.
  • 48:20Those are messages that are not
  • 48:21excepting if the child could choose the,
  • 48:24just don't know if I'm there anxiety they
  • 48:26would already have made that choice,
  • 48:29so show them acceptance by saying
  • 48:31words that are accepting like I get it.
  • 48:33This is really hard for you.
  • 48:35Where I get it, you are genuinely scared.
  • 48:38It's difficult but also show them
  • 48:40confidence meaning a vote of confidence in
  • 48:42their ability to tolerate some anxiety,
  • 48:44to be able to survive some anxiety when
  • 48:47we put those two magic messages together.
  • 48:49Which can be as simple as
  • 48:52saying something like.
  • 48:53I get that you're really scared now,
  • 48:56but I believe you can handle it.
  • 48:58That's when we are being supportive.
  • 49:01So in summary,
  • 49:02these are really common problems.
  • 49:04They look very different in different
  • 49:07children and facing anxiety rather than
  • 49:09avoiding it is a key to overcoming anxiety.
  • 49:12We can use coping skills for the
  • 49:15mind for the body and through
  • 49:17our behavior and as caregivers.
  • 49:19We should try to adopt A supportive
  • 49:22attitude that shows the child both
  • 49:25acceptance and confidence rather than
  • 49:27bending over backwards to accommodate
  • 49:29the anxious child by ensuring that they
  • 49:32don't have to cope or face there fear.
  • 49:36So thank you very much.
  • 49:47Thank you so much Ellie.
  • 49:49I loved your presentation and the way
  • 49:51that you explained the science behind
  • 49:53what we're all experiencing and what
  • 49:55Raina is has been experiencing right now.
  • 49:58Perhaps this gives you new insights.
  • 50:00Your next step, traffic novel,
  • 50:02or perhaps you could illustrate
  • 50:04Elyse next presentation?
  • 50:05But thank you both so much and we do have.
  • 50:09I think we have a little bit of time and
  • 50:12we do have some questions coming in,
  • 50:15so Sonia Rights in that she has a student
  • 50:18where they need to let her know every
  • 50:21time there's a fire drill practice happening.
  • 50:24She screams when she hears the alarm and
  • 50:27the funny wants to know if that's part of.
  • 50:31Um, normal anxiety,
  • 50:32or perhaps symptomatic of a some
  • 50:34sort of disorder and how you would
  • 50:37know the difference.
  • 50:38So do you want to feel that?
  • 50:41Sure,
  • 50:41so first of all,
  • 50:43that is a description we hear.
  • 50:45Commonly there are many
  • 50:46children were startled.
  • 50:48There's a fire alarm brings together
  • 50:50a lot of challenges for for a lot
  • 50:53of children it's a loud noise.
  • 50:55It's a change in the schedule.
  • 50:57It's a surprise,
  • 50:59and it is related to the idea of fires.
  • 51:02And it means that everybody starts running.
  • 51:04You know, getting up and moving
  • 51:06in a way that is unusual,
  • 51:08and so for a lot of children,
  • 51:10one or many of those things are going to
  • 51:13trigger anxiety in terms of different.
  • 51:15Whether that is a symptom
  • 51:17of a bigger problem.
  • 51:18What I would say is let's take a look at
  • 51:20the child's life alittle more broadly.
  • 51:23In other words, if that were the only
  • 51:25symptom of anxiety and otherwise,
  • 51:27well, it seems fine.
  • 51:28It's just the fire alarms then I probably
  • 51:31wouldn't consider it an anxiety disorder.
  • 51:33But it,
  • 51:33but the tools that we're
  • 51:35talking about here makes sense.
  • 51:36Whether you have an anxiety disorder that
  • 51:39we would diagnose a clinical problem or not,
  • 51:41even if the child has not a real
  • 51:43full blown kind of anxiety disorder,
  • 51:45they can still benefit from those tools,
  • 51:47and so we can talk with the child
  • 51:50about what goes through your
  • 51:51mind when the fire alarm goes off
  • 51:54under can you take 3 deep breaths
  • 51:56when the fire alarm goes off,
  • 51:57and things like that,
  • 51:59even if it's not a full anxiety problem,
  • 52:01I will also take the opportunity to
  • 52:03set modem supposed to say this or not,
  • 52:06but I'll take the opportunity to say.
  • 52:08And here at the child study center
  • 52:10we have a very active anxiety
  • 52:11disorders program and we provide
  • 52:13evaluation and also treatment for
  • 52:15children with anxiety problems.
  • 52:16In many cases we can even do that
  • 52:18at no cost if people participated
  • 52:20in research where where it can
  • 52:22not be through research,
  • 52:24and so if there's a question about
  • 52:26a specific child and we're not sure
  • 52:28a good a good idea maybe to actually
  • 52:30have an assessment meet with somebody
  • 52:32who is expert in anxiety problems
  • 52:34and they'll be able to tell you.
  • 52:36Yes,
  • 52:37I think this child needs a little bit more.
  • 52:40Or maybe just give parents some
  • 52:42suggestions and say Let's check
  • 52:43back in next year.
  • 52:48OK, and I think there's
  • 52:50time for one more question,
  • 52:52which is goes to. Both of you.
  • 52:55Are you hearing particular outrage from
  • 52:57educators about anxiety in relation to
  • 53:00the experience of kovid remote learning?
  • 53:02The racial justice issues like what?
  • 53:04What sort of uptick in outreach
  • 53:07to both of you have noted?
  • 53:09Have you noticed in how
  • 53:12are you responding to it?
  • 53:14I'm so Rainha do you want to start
  • 53:17with that? I mean,
  • 53:19I'm I'm not in the educational field,
  • 53:22but I am connected with librarians,
  • 53:24teachers, and parents and friends,
  • 53:26and my my unusual personal experience
  • 53:29was that my anxiety levels went down
  • 53:31significantly as soon as lock down started,
  • 53:34because suddenly I wasn't
  • 53:36worried about germs.
  • 53:37I wasn't worried about some of the
  • 53:40social phobias and issues that I have,
  • 53:43and I've I've heard that.
  • 53:45Kids who come fall towards the anxious.
  • 53:50By personality types are having a similar
  • 53:53experience where they're like it's so much
  • 53:55easier for me to learn in this format,
  • 53:57and it's easier to not have to be
  • 54:00surrounded by people all the time,
  • 54:02and so a combination of remote learning,
  • 54:04video learning.
  • 54:05You know self directed
  • 54:06learning really works for them,
  • 54:08so then it just it just leaves the
  • 54:10question of like what comes next
  • 54:12and what does next year look like?
  • 54:14What is next?
  • 54:15The next five years look like?
  • 54:17Should they consider
  • 54:18homeschooling their kids?
  • 54:19Should they you know,
  • 54:21look into alternative?
  • 54:22Schools like I again like
  • 54:23since I'm not a parent,
  • 54:25I don't have to deal with
  • 54:26this on the day today,
  • 54:28but I've been listening and learning
  • 54:30from a lot of the conversations and I
  • 54:32can't help but think what kind of kid
  • 54:34would I have been like during this?
  • 54:36I think I would have been the same
  • 54:39as I am now, which is such a relief.
  • 54:41I'm really tired of being around
  • 54:43my family all the time,
  • 54:44but I really like not having.
  • 54:48Yeah,
  • 54:48so I think that that transition is
  • 54:50going to be tough for a lot of a lot of kids.
  • 54:55Ellie
  • 54:58Raiders experience is not all
  • 54:59that a typical there there.
  • 55:01There are a lot of.
  • 55:02There are a lot of children who
  • 55:04are experiencing elevated anxiety.
  • 55:05Now they're worried about their families.
  • 55:07They worried about their health.
  • 55:08They're worried about.
  • 55:11What is next year gonna look like?
  • 55:13They may know somebody directly
  • 55:15affected by this pandemic and
  • 55:17that can trigger a lot of anxiety
  • 55:19or likewise around the issues of
  • 55:21social justice protests that are
  • 55:22happening and things relating to that.
  • 55:24There are a lot of children are
  • 55:26experiencing elevated anxiety,
  • 55:28but it is also true that there
  • 55:30is a lot of children for who the
  • 55:33real impact of this pandemic is
  • 55:35going to manifest when they are
  • 55:37asked to resume normal life.
  • 55:39If you're a child with separation anxiety,
  • 55:41this might have been the best period.
  • 55:43Because very little separation were
  • 55:45all at home. You have social anxiety.
  • 55:47You may not have had to cope
  • 55:49with the social interactions that
  • 55:51you usually have to cope with,
  • 55:53but we're going to be asking.
  • 55:55Children were starting already to
  • 55:57ask children through an increasingly
  • 55:59will be asking children to pick back
  • 56:01up all those functional challenges
  • 56:02and a lot of children are going to
  • 56:05manifest the anxiety at that point,
  • 56:06which is why it's important even during
  • 56:08social distancing and social isolation,
  • 56:10not to let it be a vacuum
  • 56:12of challenge and coping.
  • 56:14But to do your best to ensure
  • 56:16that there are still functional
  • 56:17expectations that we get up in the
  • 56:19morning and we are productive that
  • 56:21we do interact with other people,
  • 56:23even if it is on zoom.
  • 56:25And to the extent that is possible
  • 56:27and safe in other ways also,
  • 56:29even that there is separation from parents.
  • 56:31Maybe you have to be in the same house.
  • 56:34Don't be in the same room all the
  • 56:36time because it's important that this
  • 56:37not be this sort of black hole of
  • 56:40functioning and then suddenly asks
  • 56:42children to be right back in normal mode.
  • 56:47Thank you, that's best.
  • 56:48Sounds like really concrete,
  • 56:50good advice and I wanna let
  • 56:52our audience know that they can
  • 56:54contact us with more questions.
  • 56:56We're getting some questions
  • 56:57in the chat box that are very
  • 57:00specific to people's children.
  • 57:01This is really resonating and
  • 57:03we do have a help desk feature
  • 57:05on the collaborative's website,
  • 57:07which I'll post in the chat box.
  • 57:10And if you send your questions,
  • 57:12people like Ellie will get back to you so.
  • 57:17Good luck to everyone.
  • 57:18Thank you to our panelists and we're
  • 57:20going to take a little break and
  • 57:22come back with a panel as educators
  • 57:25talking about resuming school during kovit.
  • 57:27So thank you everyone.
  • 57:29Thank you.