Your teen living with autism is more susceptible to anxiety when disruption to routines occurs, or they don’t understand what someone is saying. Anxiety in teens with autism can feel more intense than other teens, and some of the signs can be mistaken for typical symptoms of autism, leaving their anxiety untreated. If anxiety is disrupting your teen’s daily routine, a medication management program may help in reducing some of the common signs of anxiety.
At Camp Worth, our therapists are familiar with helping teens with autism deal with their anxiety in positive and healthy ways. We believe in a whole-person approach to your teen’s therapy that involves behavior therapy and our medication management. If you notice signs of an anxiety disorder in your teen with autism, call 855.915.2545 or complete our convenient online form today to connect with our Camp Worth team.
What Are the Signs of an Anxiety Disorder?
By familiarizing yourself with the common signs of an anxiety disorder in teens with autism, you can begin helping them settle down and begin to feel better before any negative or harmful behavior begins. Some of the common signs of anxiety in teens with autism include.
- More insistent on following routines and structures
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- More reliance on obsessions and rituals
- More stimming, like rocking, spinning, or flapping hands
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle tension
- Hurting themselves
If the anxiety disorder is severe, medication can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. When combined with behavioral and individual therapy at Camp Worth, our medication therapy program (MTM) effectively treats their anxiety and reduces the risk of future anxiety attacks. Our medical staff will closely monitor all prescribed medication to ensure the medication is working effectively with minimal side effects.
Understanding Anxiety and Autism
Teens with autism are twice as likely to suffer one or more types of anxiety disorders. It is crucial to recognize your teen’s triggers and how you can help them calm down when an anxiety attack strikes. It can be challenging to learn their triggers as they will not understand what is happening to them.
Once you understand what anxiety in teens with autism looks like, you can begin to see your child’s triggers and how to prevent them. Some of the common triggers that teens with autism face include:
- Sudden changes in routine
- A change in their home or school environment
- Unfamiliar social situations
- Light or noise sensitivities
- Physical contact
When you spot an anxiety attack, you can do a few simple techniques to stop the symptoms from getting worse. These techniques include:
- Counting – Sit them down and have them count to ten slowly. Repeat this until they begin to calm down.
- Breathing – Take five deep breaths.
- Exercise – If you have a large yard or room where they can run around, have them run five laps.
- Read a favorite book – Get a favorite book and have them read for ten minutes.
Taking their focus away from what is causing their anxiety can quickly calm them down, where you can then talk with your teen about how the situation made them feel and what you can do to avoid those feelings in the future.
Help Your Teen with Anxiety and Autism at Camp Worth
Anxiety in teens with autism is not considered a core symptom of Autism Spectrum Disorder, but one in four teens with autism will suffer one or more forms of anxiety disorder. Treating your teen’s anxiety and autism with a combination of behavior therapy and medication therapy gives them the best chance to reduce anxiety symptoms. Your child and your family will all benefit from learning how to recognize the signs of anxiety and ways you can help your teen stop an anxiety attack before any worsening behavior occurs.
If your teen with autism is suffering from anxiety, call Camp Worth today at 855.915.2545 or complete our online form to learn more about how we can treat anxiety in teens with autism.