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Helping children with anxiety

WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) At just 10 years old, Wyatt has coping with his anxiety down to a science.

His mother Heather Hubert says, after working with therapist Todd Stage at Compass Counseling Wyatt can now identify his anxiety on his own. He can try to breathe through it or he can use the techniques he learned from Todd. Even though things seem to be okay for the time being, it hasn’t always been easy.

“So most of Wyatt’s anxiety is based on the classroom. It’s overwhelming for him. Between the children, the room itself all the colors, the sounds and everything that’s going on” said Wyatt’s mom when talking about where his anxiety stems from.

Doctors had originally diagnosed Wyatt with a severe case of A-D-H-D. But after intense research, seeing doctors in numerous states and cities, it was clear Wyatt was misdiagnosed. He isn’t the only child who is dealing with anxiety.

Area therapists say misdiagnosing a patient is a big problem and can keep children from getting the right treatment. “As it comes to diagnosing it is a struggle to diagnose and it is best to get a team involved where you either have multiple counselors or you can involve the family physician and get extra information.” says Todd Stage, a social worker at Compass Counselling.

When it comes to properly treating and diagnosing a child, Yale University is testing out old ways for dealing with anxiety. The approach is to teach parents to let their child face their fears. Counselors also say that having your child practice facing those fears on their own will give them a better shot at overcoming their anxiety.

Amanda Lojewski

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