by Russ Becker
Accept Education Collaborative
Throughout the school year I will be attending a series of workshops and conferences focusing on various mental health issues prevalent in our schools. Yesterday I attended the first workshop in the series which centered around the connection between students anxiety and oppositional defiance. The conversation was led by Jessica Minihan, M.Ed., BCBA, and it provided a wealth of information. Often times when a student’s behavior is called into question their anxiety leading up to this physical manifestation is ignored. Symptoms and warning signs of anxiety can be very subtle or completely invisible which frequently makes them unaccounted for when attempting to correct a student’s negative behaviors. By viewing oppositional defiance as a possible side effect of anxiety, teachers and administration may now be able to prevent the root of the problem rather than retroactively dealing with the consequences of behavior. The link between these two seemingly separate mental health issues is both fascinating and very important to the way we view their treatment going forward. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more!