The Kids Development Centre is holding a free ‘Kids and Anxiety Workshop’ tomorrow to help parents recognise the signs their child may be suffering from anxiety.
The centre specialises in understanding the biochemistry that sometimes leads to anxiety symptoms and in the treatment of children with anxiety issues.
Dr Natalie Challis, from the Kids Development Centre, uses brain mapping to look at the child’s brain and see how it is functioning.
“We look at brainwave activity in that particular child, then compare that back to a normative database for kids their age, which gives us a map. So we get a picture of what is actually going on in that child’s brain,” she says.
“Looking at the brain is a really important thing to do, especially when it comes to medicating a child.”
Dr Challis says 60 per cent of mental health conditions start in childhood and early treatment can prevent years of pain.
“When you have anxiety, you tend to limit your life choices and make decisions based around the anxiety … rather than things you want to do,” Dr Challis says.
“That’s really self-limiting and it’s very sad to watch kids who have enormous potential make decisions to lessen that potential.”
Dr Challis says understanding the brain and the biochemistry is essential because kids don’t have the ability to describe how they are feeling in the same way adults do.
“Anxiety isn’t one dimensional. It involves the brain, the gut and the nervous system, and what we do is we look to support all three of those systems at the same time,” she says.
“It is a complex disorder and you need to understand each of those body systems to treat it effectively.
“Even though they may all have the same symptoms of anxiety, their brain presentations are generally not the same, so that gives us a very specific idea on how to treat that child.”
If you are interested in attending the workshop tomorrow evening you can register for the event at www.kidsdevelopmentcentre.com.au