Anxiety Disorders

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K-12 CAMS for Students with Anxiety Disorders

Individuals with anxiety disorders may experience any of the limitations discussed below.  The degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Not all students with an anxiety disorder will need CAMS (compensations accommodations, modifications, strategies) to perform in school and many others may only need a few CAMS. Regardless, each student’s case should be evaluated on an individual basis with an Independent Needs Assessment Protocol done by an Educational Strategist & Consultant or a Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN).  The following is a sample of possible CAMS for students with anxiety disorders.  Other CAMS solutions may exist so check with an Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) for more information.          



1. What limitations the student with an anxiety disorder is experiencing?

2. How these limitations affect the student and the student's school performance?

3. What specific activities or tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?

4. What CAMS are available to reduce or eliminate these problems?

5. Are all possible resources being used to determine possible CAMS?

6. Has the student with an anxiety disorder been consulted regarding possible CAMS?  Does the student know how s/he learns best?

7. Once CAMS are in place, would it be useful to talk with the student and/or team to evaluate the effectiveness of the CAMS and to determine whether additional or different CAMS are needed?

8. Do parents and school staff need training regarding anxiety disorders?

9.  Schedule time to meet with the Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) to determine how to communicate needed CAMS with the school team and how to document.





Difficulty Handling Stress and Emotions:


        Provide praise and positive reinforcement

        Refer to counseling and other student assistance programs

        Allow telephone calls during school hours to doctors and others for needed support

        Provide sensitivity training to teachers, staff, and peers

        Allow the student to take a break to use stress management techniques to cope with frustration



Attendance Issues:


        Provide flexible leave for health problems

        Provide a self-paced class work and homework load and flexible times and days for completion

        Allow student to work at home or another setting

        Provide part-time school schedule



Dealing with Change:


        Recognize that a change in the school environment or of staff and peers may be difficult for a person with an anxiety disorder

        Maintain open channels of communication between the student and the new and old  teacher in order to ensure an effective transition

        Provide daily, weekly, or monthly meetings with the student to discuss school issues, production levels, and useful CAMS or other supports



Working Effectively with Staff:


        Provide positive praise and reinforcement

        Provide written task instructions

        Develop written work agreements that include the agreed upon CAMS, clear expectations of responsibilities, and the results of not meeting performance standards

        Allow for open communication to staff

        Establish written long term and short term goals

        Develop strategies to deal with problems before they arise

        Develop a procedure to evaluate the effectiveness of the CAMS


Interacting with Peers:


        Educate all IEP and 504 students on their right to CAMS

        Provide sensitivity training to peers and staff

        Do not mandate students to attend or participate in school related social functions or group activities

        Encourage students and others to move non-assignment related conversations out of work or study areas

2006 Claudia Lowe, SENC  ......  adapted from www.jan.wvu.edu