Written By CMHO CEO, Kim Moran
This year it’s Back to School….and now in our house it’s off to College. Transitions are hard for my daughter and this is a big one. It’s going to be a little easier because she chose to stay at home and will live at home, and maybe move out next year. But, it’s going to be a huge change for a kid that doesn’t handle change so well.
We had a great relationship with her high school. The whole team rallied around her to support her when things got tough. They called me the time that she had a panic attack at a Bio exam. She was writing her exam in the resource room but completely blanked out. She couldn’t remember anything and then all the colour drained from her face and she became nauseous. They took her to a quiet place, told her she could write the exam at a later date, and called me. They helped her when she slept through her alarm before a final exam. She had been so anxious that she went into a deep sleep. I had to have a neighbor go into the house to wake her up. But the school caught her as she ran in the door, calmed her down, gave her something to eat …. and most importantly, they let her write the exam.
We don’t have those kinds of supports at her college, at least not yet. There is a disability team that helps kids like Lauren, but she hasn’t met her counselor yet as it took her a long time to get the forms in (procrastination!). I hope they get back to her soon, so that she knows where to go. But it’s not going to be like the staff at high school – I know that.
I have heard other parents of anxious kids talk about this strange phenomenon, I call it the Anxiety Cycle. Lauren procrastinates getting started at the beginning of new courses. Probably partly because she is anxious. Then she gets behind, and then she gets really anxious. That’s when things go really haywire. I got into the habit at the beginning of each course to remind her of that. But in her ears, it really sounds like nagging. Which it is. I kind of think it’s a good sort of nagging…but she doesn’t agree. We talked, and she doesn’t want me to do that, she feels confident that she won’t let that same cycle happen this year. I am not so confident, but I know that she needs to figure this out. So maybe I can resist the nagging from every week to every two weeks??? Maybe I will work on my delivery, so it sounds less like nagging? Overall, I think it’s going to be a tough transition for Mom too…….