Children who suffer from Clinical Anxiety often face many struggles when it comes to education and learning, but with the help of Whytecliff’s dedicated learning centres children are able to adapt and overcome these issues to reach their maximum potential.
Many of the children who are currently succeeding in the Whytecliff programs face a variety of learning and life challenges ⎯ often this includes the diagnosis of clinical anxiety, whether that be mild or more severe. These struggles often prevent children from being able to prosper in their studies, which can place them in a disadvantaged position right from the start.
How Whytecliff Can Help Kids With Clinical Anxiety
Whytecliff offers the BC Ministry of Education accredited curriculum leading to a British Columbia Certificate of Graduation. Whytecliff also incorporates the new BC Curriculum’s intellectual, personal, and social-emotional proficiencies, with a special emphasis on youth development as well as positive mental health and wellness.
Whytecliff is designed to promote positive mental health, rather than treat serious emotional challenges. At the same time, our positive, supportive approach is highly effective in reducing anxiety. Whytecliff sees anxiety as our body’s normal reaction to perceived danger or important events. Anxiety functions like an internal alarm system; it also alerts us to danger and helps our body prepare to deal with it.
Overall, Whytecliff’s therapeutic approach aims to gently increase children’s resources, decrease their challenges, encourage mind-body quietude, foster overall well-being, and build hope. For children facing anxiety, the key ingredients to our approach include:
– A physical environment that is warm, cozy, and safe where a child can feel comforted and relaxed;
– An emotional environment that is gently positive and welcoming;
– The right staff with deep listening skills who work to care for each child as they want to be cared for;
– A therapeutic learning community where children have a sense of belonging and experience being cared for, appreciated, and respected;
– The right curriculum that places just enough on each child’s plate that they can be successful;
– Fun physical and community activities to naturally build each child’s strengths and confidence.
At Whytecliff, our self-directed and self-paced learning approach (concentrating on one or two courses at a time) allows children to proceed in accordance to their particular skills and challenges they face. Our warm, caring, and competent staff are attuned to children’s needs and abilities and are able to identify when a student begins to struggle or needs additional support. With our low student to staff ratio of 5 or 6 to 1, children are able to receive the emotional and practical support they need to be successful.
In our supportive program environment, no child is embarrassed about their particular challenge (as everyone is also growing through their own emotional and learning challenges and growth and change is the norm). When children look around, all the other children are naturally developing, maturing, expanding their range of gifts and talents, and extending their aspirations upward. It’s contagious! In seeing other kids take the leap, children feel drawn to join in. Before they know it, they’re clearing the biggest hurdle; the fear of change itself.
According to the Mayo Clinic,
Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. You may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood.
Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias and separation anxiety disorder. You can have more than one anxiety disorder. Sometimes anxiety results from a medical condition that needs treatment.
Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety