Ways to Help Special Needs Students Who Struggle With Anxiety in Your Class

3rd October 2020

Only telling anxious students to "calm down" is not a solution to the problem in your special education class. It’s not exceptional for young special needs students who study and contemplate differently to also tussle with anxiety. Most of the time, you will see that they hesitate to participate in classroom activities. The anxiety in the air in any class is so profound you can almost feel it these days. When learners are unconscious of how anxiety affects their intellect, the usual communication that they take away is that they have to study harder. As a result, they stay up late trying to memorize everything, get exhausted, and live under more pressure—which enhances their anxiety issues.

Do you know 13–20 IQ points can be lost in a moment of anxiety? Even an anxious kid may still get good marks in an assignment, but the mental block could affect it taking the kid extra hours to complete any work. That’s why expressions like “just relax” or “calm down” aren’t supportive. Anxiety conditions are the most common mental health problem in infancy, with up to 1/10 children as well as most adolescents having an anxiety condition.

Well, anxiety can reveal in a lot of ways like trouble in concentrating, an upset stomach, sleeplessness, rapid heart rate, shaking, dizziness, tingling, sweating, etc. This is also one of the most hidden and unknown things in any classroom setting until now. Anxiety can affect classroom enactment just as much as any other learning infirmity. Therefore the awareness is necessary that can be learned through the online special education courses.

Reasons That Cause Anxiety


There are lots of reasons that cause anxiety among the young learners. There are biological, domestic, and environmental features that may add to a child having an anxiety issue.

  • The biological factor means the child’s brain has special chemicals, called neurotransmitters that communicate from the back and forth to control the way an individual senses. Serotonin and dopamine are two vital neurotransmitters that can cause feelings of anxiety.
  • By family factors, it means that a child has inherited it from his/her family, just like a child can receive a parent’s brown hair, the structure of the eyes, and so on. Moreover, anxiety can occur in a child’s brain from family members who are remarkably stressed or anxious around. Sometimes, parents can also contribute to their child’s anxiety without understanding it.
  • Environmental factors means any kind of traumatic experience that may also trigger the beginning of an anxiety condition.

How Can You Help Special Needs Students with Anxiety Conditions?

At first, you need to understand that a student’s school anxieties may be connected to their specific condition. For that reason, it's very essential that as a teacher, you take your student’s precise condition into interpretation when you try to hold the concern. Also, keep in mind that your learner may act differently than they usually would.

Here are some of the few effective ways that will help anxious kids in your classroom:

  • Try to practice the deep breaths routine as it supports the special needs child who is overwhelmed and generally some of your other kids as well. When individuals slow down their breathing, they slow down their brains. When you notice that one of your learners is struggling with anxiety, this will help…try it.
  • When your student struggles with anxiety then take a break and allow the child to go outside.  Nature can also calm an anxious brain in a very big way. Sometimes, just a change of background is what makes the difference. You can ask your students to observe carefully the surroundings; this can support to turn the focus away from their anxieties.
  • Do you know some exercise helps anyone who is feeling anxious? Yes… anxiety can eventually end up looking like an annoyance, so if you understand and identify any kind of anxiety situation among your learners, try taking a movement pause. As a special education teacher, you undoubtedly already have some favourite ways to handle this concern but if you’re looking for some new ideas, check out these suggestions.
  • Maybe you can try creating a precise place where your learners can express their anxiety. You’ve undoubtedly distinguished from specific classroom place, and this explicit classroom place is a good option to offer if you have learners dealing with anxiety. Also by offering classroom fidgets can work wonders sometimes.
  • Individual accommodation is very much necessary in this case. For learners dealing with anxiety, accommodations can make all the transformation. When a learner is feeling apprehensive, his/her brain simply can’t function efficiently. Here, you can set up your tests and assignments so that the anxious kids are less harassed and they’ll perform better. Extended time could also help kids who suffer from test anxiety.


Well, the positive news about anxiety is that it is one of the most controllable mental-health struggles that children face in any classroom. With the right support and strategies that can be learned through the online special education courses, most special needs children are able to grow strategies that help them manage their anxiety. Every child is unique and anxiety is present in all the classrooms already. Hence, it is very necessary for teachers to educate themselves about the signs of anxiety and discover appropriate resources to manage them.

Written By: Gargi Sen      

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