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Anxiety Disorders in Children: A Test for Parents

— Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Updated on Feb 15, 2011

If you think your child may have an anxiety disorder, please answer the questions below, print out the page, and show the results to your child's health care professional.

Yes No Does the child have a distinct and ongoing fear of social situations involving unfamiliar people?
Yes No Does the child worry excessively about a number of events or activities?
Yes No Does the child experience shortness of breath or a racing heart for no apparent reason?
Yes No Does the child experience age-appropriate social relationships with family members and other familiar people?
Yes No Does the child often appear anxious when interacting with peers, or try to avoid them?
Yes No Does the child have a persistent and unreasonable fear of an object or situation, such as flying, heights, or animals?
Yes No When the child encounters the feared object or situation, does he react by freezing, clinging, or having a tantrum?
Yes No Does the child worry excessively about her competence and quality of performance?
Yes No Does the child cry, have tantrums, or refuse to leave a family member or other familiar person when she must?
Yes No Has the child experienced a decline in classroom performance, refused to go to school, or avoided age-appropriate social activities?
Yes No Does the child spend at least one hour each day repeating things over again, such as hand washing, checking, arranging, or counting?
Yes No Does the child have exaggerated fears of people or events ( burglars, kidnappers, car accidents) that might be difficult, such as in a crowd or on an elevator?
Yes No Does the child experience a great number of nightmares, headaches, or stomachaches?
Yes No Does the child repetitively use toys to re-enact scenes from a disturbing event?
Yes No Does the child redo tasks because of excessive dissatisfaction with less-than-perfect performance?

Reference
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

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