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Emotional Health

Everybody feels worried, stressed and nervous at times. Anxiety can keep us safe from danger, but when it becomes overwhelming it can stop us from doing things we need to do and affect our relationships with others. Children with neurodevelopmental difficulties (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder) are particularly likely to suffer from anxiety, but there are strategies that we know can help.

What you can do to help

Children sometimes need support with their feelings. It is important to listen to your child and try to understand their world. It can help to make it normal to talk about tricky feelings at home.

It is good to talk about feelings: Make time to talk and listen to your child to about his or her feelings. Find creative ways to help your child let you know how they feel, e.g. drawing, play, pictures, writing worries down and throwing them away.

Remain calm: we are role models for our children and it is important to show them ways to manage difficult feelings.

Solution time: Think together about different solutions to difficult situations and chose the best ones.

Relaxation time: Work out what helps your child to relax e.g. music, jumping on trampoline, colouring, go out in nature. You can also help your child to learn relaxation strategies e.g. breathing gently and slowly (slowly blowing bubbles can be a good and fun way to help your child to do this). Some children find sensory activities relaxing, for ideas please see the Sensory Strategy leaflet.

How we can help

If you have concerns about your child’s emotional well-being please speak with your Paediatrician or GP. They will discuss your concerns and may consider a referral to local psychological support.

You can also find useful information under Emotional Health and Wellbeing section.

Need more information?

Here are some local and national organisations that support young people generally with emotional wellbeing. All of the strategies can be useful for children with or without a neurodevelopmental condition, however you may need to communicate these differently.

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