20 Strategies to Help Learners Who Suffer From Anxiety

Are you looking for strategies to help students who suffer from anxiety? If so, keep reading.

1. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for not engaging in nervous habits at school.

2. Maintain a calm/pleasant atmosphere.

3. Let the student squeeze a tennis ball or rolled up towel to decrease engaging in nervous habits.

4. Let the student take a break to regroup when they are becoming nervous.

5. Refrain from a discussion of topics that are sensitive to the student (e.g., divorce, death, unemployment, alcoholism, etc.).

6. Provide a full schedule of learning activities. Keeping the student occupied should prevent the student from engaging in nervous habits.

7. Allow the student some physical learning experience while performing tasks.

8. Give the student an alternate learning experience designed to result in productive behavior (e.g., drawing, cutting, using a calculator, working with a peer, etc.).

9. Urge the student to create an understanding of themselves and those around him/her. Urge the student to periodically step back and ask themselves, “Am I fidgeting and being overactive?”

10. Teach behaviors that promote self-control. Let the student gain their composure before continuing a learning experience (e.g., placing hands on desk, sitting with feet on the floor, making eye contact with the person who is talking, etc.).

11. Praise the student for demonstrating appropriate behavior: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., classroom privileges, passing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

12. Praise the student for demonstrating appropriate academic/social behavior based on the duration of time they can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the duration of time required for reinforcement.

13. Let the student keep a tiny object in their pocket that is appropriate to handle at all times and would not disturb others (e.g., foam, rubber, or fabric ball; buckeye; worry stone; etc.).

14. Get the student to create an understanding of the consequences of their behavior by writing down or talking through problems that may happen due to their nervous habits (e.g., perceived as unmannerly, avoided, etc.).

15. Attempt several groupings in the classroom to ascertain the situation in which the student is most comfortable.

16. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

17. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

18. Consider using a socio-emotional learning app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

19. Consider using an emotional intelligence app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

20. Consider using a school counseling app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

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