StaceyinOhio asks:

Is my child protected if he has an anxiety disorder?

We live in OH. I was interested in looking into an IEP for him- he has an anxiety disorder and stressful/adverse situations in school have thrown him into panic attacks (and at home, anticipating a particularly stressful art class due to a mean teacher) the panic attacks are strong and give him stomach pains. He also has a slight fine motor delay (which has been an issue this year with his teacher being harsh on him for his writing) due to hypotonia (he has a mild case of it).  

My question is, do you even think I could get him an IEP for anxiety? Or would there have to be other issues in addition to the panic attacks?  

thanks for reading,
In Topics: Anxiety
> 60 days ago



Dec 21, 2007
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What the Expert Says:

Hi Stacey,

It sounds like it has been a difficult fall for your son. It is difficult to know whether your son would qualify for an IEP, but it certainly sounds like may be eligible.

At the minimum, I would imagine that he would qualify for a 504 Plan. It does sound like your son could benefit from some additional support an/or accommodations at school to ease the challenges of dealing with an anxiety disorder and hypotonia. For instance, many children with anxiety disorders are provided with a "safe space" that they can visit in the classroom or on the school grounds when feeling overwhelmed.

In addition, when teachers and administrators learn your son's anxiety triggers, a plan could be implemented to help him calm and soothe himself.

The first step is to begin the Special Education Evaluation process. You mention that you are interested in pursuing an IEP for your son. Have you submitted a formal request to the school principal or special education administrator in order to have your son evaluated? If not, this should be your first step.

The following article includes wonderful advice for this process:

If you have initiated a Special Education Evaluation, but have not received the results of the testing, it is important that you educate yourself as much as possible on the various conditions that qualify a child for an IEP and the special education process, in general. The following information portal has a lot of great information to help you navigate this journey:

Good luck and keep us posted!

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