Anxiety and stress are on a steep increase, even before you factor in the external difficulties that the pandemic has created. Although humans are more connected than ever before, we seem to have never felt more isolated, and that is taxing for our emotional health. With steep inclines in rates of anxiety, PTSD, and depression, getting help has never been more important, particularly for people with ASD.
For parents looking for autism treatment program tips during this unprecedented time of isolation, Discover Camp Worth has put together some strategies for you and your children. Until things start to go back to some semblance of “normal,” the next best thing is to create a sense of normalcy on your own.
Increased Anxiety and Stress in the New Normal
The role of stress on depression and anxiety is direct, though it’s not the only cause of these conditions. Some other factors include:
- Biological propensity to mental health disorders
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Other underlying physical and mental health conditions, including autism spectrum disorders
- Sensory overload, even in those without ASD – the climate of constant news bombardment affects our mental health quite negatively
Between the fear of COVID-19 itself and a neverending cycle of seemingly negative news, it’s challenging to give our fight-or-flight system a chance to relax. For children, they see their parents stressed, and it stresses them out as well. It’s essential to first incorporate self-care and stress reduction into your own life before you can properly incorporate autism therapy program tips for stress into the lives of your children.
Speak to Someone
Even though many doctors and counselors have temporarily shuttered their physical locations, virtual visits are more common than ever. If you don’t already have a counselor, finding one that does telehealth visits should be relatively easy. An individual therapy program can help alleviate stress and give you a path to helping with anxiety and depression as well.
Having your own strategies to handle depression, anxiety, and stress will make you better equipped to help your family with theirs.
Ensure Your Kids Know They Can Speak with You
When your kids are having emotional difficulty, it can be extremely hard for them to put how they feel into words. Without proper understanding, you might not give them the attention they need to help process how they feel, leading to emotional or physical outbursts.
Calmly tell your children that they can come to you and speak about what is bothering them. Be extremely patient and try to read between the lines – symptoms of anxiety and depression look different in kids versus adults:
- Complaints of stomach pain, particularly right in the middle of the abdomen
- General complaints of “not feeling well”
- Lack of interest in normally engaging activities
- Extreme interest in new activities that are passive, like screen time
- Irritability and going from calm to extremely angry with little provocation
These are only a few signs that your child is feeling the effects of anxiety and stress. For high-functioning ASD children, these symptoms might be even more prominent. Knowing they can talk to you can help alleviate some anxiety and feelings of loneliness or isolation. An autism parent training program can help you along the way.
Get Additional Help from Discover Camp Worth
For ASD children who are having an extremely difficult time coping with anxiety and stress in isolation, residential treatment can be a powerful tool. Discover Camp Worth provides residential stress treatment in Texas for boys and girls, ages 11-17 who have been diagnosed with ASD and who need some additional help. Most of our residents are high-functioning but cannot cope at home or have reached a point of frustration or anger that requires professional intervention.
Our facilities are fully staffed with medical and counseling professionals to address each potential factor for your child’s wellbeing. We teach life skills and coping mechanisms that can help them improve their self-confidence and simply feel better, especially now with the added stress of the pandemic.
We are available at 855.915.2545 if you would like a consultation to see if Discover Camp Worth is the right fit for your family.