Having social anxiety disorder in school can be very hard in that it can hold a student to not want to speak up in class or be in a group in fear of being bullied. If teachers notice this, they should not ignore the problem or ask another teacher to take care of it. You can help out your student with a social anxiety disorder by encouraging participation and letting them know they can come to you for help.
What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Today, mental health experts suggest that nearly one in every three teens suffers from some form of anxiety. One of the most debilitating forms of this condition is social anxiety. A person who suffers from this condition feels like the stress of social interactions is overwhelming. They may struggle to make eye contact or small talk. As a result of these challenges, they may feel like they are unable to talk to their peers or speak in public.
- The symptoms of a social anxiety disorder include:
- Fearing others’ judgment in specific social situations
- Sweating, shaking, or blushing in specific social situations because they feel embarrassed or humiliated
- Being afraid of being the center of attention
- Worrying about accidentally offending someone
Some people may excel in some situations but feel anxious in others. For instance, they may not be able to go into a crowded classroom, but they can talk one-on-one with friends. Alternatively, they may not be able to attend parties, but if they need to give a speech, they’re at ease. It’s best to talk to your student about their condition and determine what their symptoms are and how to avoid these situations. There is also a range of things teachers can do to help any students suffering from social anxiety.
How to Help Students Suffering From Social Anxiety
One way that you can help out your student is by letting the class know that you have the option of either working by yourself or working in small groups of two to three people. If the groups are small, the student will not have to feel left out and might be able to make new friends. They will have a better chance of getting their voice heard this way. Instead of having presentations where the students have to speak to the entire class, make presentations where it is just in front of the teacher in private. Hopefully, that will give the students confidence when they can give a presentation successfully to one person. Then, later. they will feel confident to share with the whole class without an anxiety attack.
In addition, you should let your student know that they are doing a good job in their work. For instance, you can praise their accomplishments even if they get the answer wrong. This should give the student enough confidence in themselves. For younger children, you can read them stories about shyness and how to develop self-esteem. For older students, you can have them read novels and show movies in class that relate to that content. You can even assign that particular student to be a special helper for you. You can make them feel important simply by having them passing out papers around or running errands for you at the office.
Another way to show your student that you are there to help them is by punishing those who disrupt your zero-tolerance policy on bullying like dropping a grade from the student who makes fun of someone during a presentation or who laughs when a student says the wrong answer.
Learn More at Bayview Recovery
If you have questions about social anxiety or you’re suffering from social anxiety yourself, Bayview Recovery can help. Our mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression. We use treatment options such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Family therapy
For more information about helping students with social anxiety, please call us at 855.478.3650 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.