At Education Alternatives, we work to educate students with a variety of emotional and behavioral needs. For many students, these needs can include social anxiety, and oftentimes social anxiety is paired with another special need, like ADHD or autism. We understand the importance of addressing each of our student’s needs so they can be educated and supported holistically.
Read on to learn more about our school for students with anxiety and everything we can provide in their day-to-day education.
What Is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, can be described as an extreme or irrational fear in social situations that prevents people from participating in normal activities. A person who struggles with social anxiety may avoid places where they expect to meet new people. They may want to avoid public bathrooms or eating in public.
Performance anxiety is also a key part of social anxiety disorder. People who are fearful when needing to “perform” will likely sweat, avoid eye contact, and feel nauseated or embarrassed. Public speaking or meeting new people may feel impossible and be avoided at all costs. Ultimately, social anxiety disorder makes people fear judgment from others, and this fear can hold them back from normal activities or even success in life, if left untreated.
Teaching in a School for Students with Anxiety Disorder
At Education Alternatives, our social anxiety schools in the Cleveland metropolitan area are staffed with professionals trained to help children and adolescents who struggle with this type of anxiety. Each classroom is staffed with a licensed teacher and mental health facilitator to ensure that our students are receiving both the education and the mental health support that they need.
We operate from an unconditional positive regard perspective in all of our interactions with students. No matter how they have behaved that day, they will receive warmth, support, and praise. By showing unconditional positive regard to our students, we can help them build confidence in themselves and trust in us.
Additionally, our class sizes are small, with a 1 to 6 teacher to student ratio to provide individual attention to each of our students. Having small classes is important for students with social anxiety. This allows them to make deeper connections with the other children and adults around them, reducing some of the fears that typically accompany social anxiety.
Our daily routine is also highly structured. Sometimes students with social anxiety have difficulty during unstructured time during school, such as lunch or recess. The majority of our day is structured to reduce the need to feel social pressures. Our small class sizes allow students to quickly gain trusted friendships to help them cope with unstructured time as well.
Addressing Mental Health at Our Anxiety Disorder School in Cleveland
At our anxiety disorder school, our primary goal is to help students with emotional and behavioral disorders receive an education that is comparable to their peers while simultaneously receiving the mental health support they need. That is why we have a licensed therapist staffed at each of our eight locations throughout Ohio. Our therapists are able to oversee the mental health efforts of our schools as well as provide individual counseling to students as needed.
In addition to in-class support and individual counseling, our students also receive daily group counseling. This helps our staff monitor the progress of all students, and it also helps students develop camaraderie and the feeling of not being alone in what they’re going through. For students with social anxiety, group therapy can help them practice skills that they fear, such as speaking in front of a group, all with the goal to gain self-regulation skills and emotional maturity.
Autism and Social Anxiety Disorder
We understand that children with autism have unique needs, so we have created our Coral Autism Program to meet those needs. Plus, for our students with autism and social anxiety, we have some key offerings that are often helpful for them.
First, we offer sensory rooms. These rooms help students with emotional regulation through visual, auditory, and tactile aids. If a student is having a hard day or moment with social anxiety, they can utilize one of our sensory rooms to calm themselves as well as practice coping mechanisms.
Another area of support we offer to students in our Coral Autism Program is access to our REACH Behavioral Health services. Through REACH, students and their families can attend counseling sessions to talk through anxieties. Our counselors will also work with these students to help them develop coping mechanisms to deal with social anxiety as it arises.
Contact Our School for Students with Anxiety
If you have further questions about our Cleveland social anxiety school and how we can help students with special needs, please reach out to us by completing our contact form.
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (216) 332-9360.