I recently watched an insightful webinar by Dr. David Pratt titled "CBT Strategies for Kids and Adolescents: Supporting Students with ADHD and Anxiety." This summary captures the key points and methodologies discussed in the course. Particularly striking was the exploration of various types of school refusals, each requiring unique strategic approaches. The webinar provided a comprehensive understanding of how cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can be effectively tailored to address the diverse challenges faced by students with ADHD and anxiety.

Main Topics Covered:

Challenges Faced by Students with ADHD and Anxiety:

  • Emphasized the unique difficulties encountered by children with ADHD and anxiety, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and its shift to remote learning. 
  • Highlighted the increased anxiety and regression in academic and social skills due to disrupted routines and lack of structured environments. 

Understanding School Refusal: 

  • School refusal, particularly in the context of anxiety and depression, was a significant focus. 
  • Different types of school refusal are discussed, from mild reluctance to chronic absenteeism. 
  • Dr. Pratt cited the work of experts like Dr. Chris Kearney and Dr. Anne Marie Albano in understanding and addressing these issues.

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) Techniques: 

  • The webinar delved into various CBT strategies tailored for children and adolescents facing school refusal, ADHD, and anxiety. 
  • Techniques such as cognitive restructuring, and problem-solving skills are outlined as key tools in managing anxiety and improving school attendance. 

Role of Parents and Educators: 

  • The importance of a supportive role played by parents and educators in managing these challenges is emphasized. 
  • Strategies for parents and teachers include establishing routines, encouraging positive reinforcement, and understanding the unique needs of each child. 

Key Takeaways for Parents on School Refusal:

Recognize the Signs: Understand that school refusal can manifest in various forms, from subtle reluctance to outright refusal to attend school. 

Types and Triggers: Be aware of the different types of school refusal and potential triggers such as anxiety, social challenges, or transitions in family life. 

Importance of Early Intervention: Addressing school refusal early is crucial. Prolonged absences can lead to significant academic and social setbacks. 

Collaboration with Schools: Work closely with school staff to develop a plan that accommodates the child’s needs and eases their return to school. 

Utilizing CBT Techniques: Implementing strategies like gradual exposure, positive reinforcement, and skill-building can be effective in managing school refusal. 

Consistent Routines: Establish and maintain a consistent daily routine at home, mirroring school schedules as closely as possible to create a sense of normalcy. 

Support and Understanding: Offer empathy and understanding to the child’s struggles, ensuring they feel heard and supported. 

Blogs and Handouts

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