OSCA Conference 2019 - Igniting Hope – October 11, 2019
Date: October 11, 2019
Location: Holiday Inn Portland Airport - 8439 NE Columbia Boulevard
Keynote speaker: Cheri Lovre "The Evolution of Crisis Response in Schools"
President’s Letter: Resources for Student Anxiety
Dawn Huebner, Ph.D, wrote “Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety.” In her introduction for parents, she shared that hope can be found through containment, externalization and competing demands. First, teach students how to contain their anxiety, preventing it from spreading. Second, externalize anxiety as if it were a separate entity with its own name. Third, participate in relaxing activities. This workbook has nine lessons, and is recommended for children ages 5–12.
Lisa M. Schab, LCSW, wrote “The Anxiety Workbook for Teens,” which can be used for individual or small groups. The 42 lessons offer training and strategies that can be taught as a complete set or topically. A few examples of topics offered are: consider the patterns of anxiety, address positive attitudes, rejecting “should” messages, inserting positive affirmations, deep breathing, visualization and meditation.
Teaching students to change their negative self-talk and replace it with growth mindset messages is a powerful way to distract from the paralysis of anxiety. Rather than saying “This is too hard,” teach the student to say, “This will take time and effort.” Rather than saying, “I messed up. I can’t do anything right!” teach the student to say, “Mistakes help me improve.”
Take 5 Breaths. Stretch your hand out. Use your pointer finger of your other hand and slowly trace your fingers up and down. Breathe in through your nose as your finger goes up, and slowly exhale out your mouth as your finger slides down. Repeat this until you have traced all five fingers. Slowing down our breathing allows our hearts to slow down, and our brains receive more blood. We enter into our rational mind, and can process our stressors with stronger logic.
The good news is, with effective techniques, anxiety does not have to imprison our students. Thank you for all that you do to help these students find freedom.
Contact Laureen Held, OSCA president, at OSCAPresident@oscainc.org.