With fall comes the excitement of a new school year! New things to learn, new skills to master. But going back to school can also bring its share of anxiety, self-doubt and feelings of being overwhelmed, especially for students who struggle with dyslexia or other learning disabilities.

We’ve gathered a collection of tips and links to help your students and children cope with the challenges that arise from learning and the anxiety and pressures that can often go with it. And teachers will also find helpful resources and links for further reading.


A 2005 study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15845132) found that students with reading difficulties might be at a higher risk for also developing clinically significant levels of anxiety and depression. At the same time, anxiety itself can have a negative impact on students’ ability to read, focus and perform optimally on tests. The study also acknowledges that much more research is required to hone in on how, exactly, reading difficulties and mood disorders are linked.

While researchers continue to tackle these issues, here are some practical tips teachers and parents can use when students are feeling the pressure:

1. Recognize the signs of stress

Stress can manifest in different ways, for different people, at different developmental stages. Experts say the key is staying in touch with how children are feeling—while maintaining lines of open and honest communication.

Below are just some of the possible signs of stress:

Source: http://www2.massgeneral.org/schoolpsychiatry/info_anxiety.asp

2. Find proactive ways of coping with stress at home and at school

Source: http://www2.massgeneral.org/schoolpsychiatry/info_anxiety.asp

3. Develop tools to help children de-stress

In addition to deep breathing, children can use some of the following tools to help shake off feelings of stress.

For more tips on how to manage stress for students and parents, check out:



4. Recognize that feeling anxious is normal…but know when to seek out additional help

If your child or student’s anxiety begins to negatively impact his or her home and school life, then it may be time to seek out professional help. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America have a number of online screening tools that can help determine if more help is needed: http://www.adaa.org/screening-generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad


teacherinclass_ohioAccording to a 2013 study by the National Institute of Health, “Teacher stress and burnout have been an ongoing challenge in education. Providing resources to increase teachers’ sense of personal efficacy and ability to manage stress may reduce burnout. Reducing and managing teacher stress is part of a formula for promoting a healthy classroom environment.”

The National Education Association offers a number of tips for both recognizing and dealing with stress:

Source: http://neahealthyfutures.org/get-informed/school-employee-wellness/stress-management/

For more reading on stress in the classroom, check out: