Anxiety Assessment for Children

As a specialist clinic based in Scotland focused on neurodevelopmental disorders, we offer a comprehensive online anxiety assessment for children in the UK.

While generalised anxiety disorder can severely impact a child’s development if left untreated, most notably in relationships and learning, childhood anxiety can be properly assessed, diagnosed, and treated through the right avenues. At Diverse Diagnostics, we aim to equip families and young people with the tools and support they need to achieve this.

Every child anxiety assessment we offer is conducted online by an experienced child and adolescent psychiatrist. Our consultants will let you know from the very first appointment what the childhood anxiety assessment process will look like for your child’s case and the assessment will include a feedback session, whereby the consultant will explain to the patient and family the final diagnosis, what it means, and the next steps to be taken.

If you are unsure if this is the correct assessment for your child, book a free 15-minute consultation with a consultant psychiatrist for advice on your unique situation.

Contact us for our child anxiety assessment online today.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

Many children struggle with anxiety, but how can you tell the difference between temporary fears or feelings and an actual anxiety disorder?

A proper assessment will help families to differentiate if their child is feeling anxious is part of their age (e.g. separation anxiety in toddlers around 6 months and 3 years) or if there is a bigger problem affecting their mental health and well being.

Anxiety disorders in children can display to different degrees of functional impairment and the treatment will depend on how severe it is and if it affects their well being.

When diagnosed early, paediatric anxiety disorders and adolescent anxiety disorders can be well-managed, with treated children benefitting from significant improvements as they grow older and enter early adulthood and beyond.

Anxiety

Common Symptoms of Child Anxiety

While symptom severity may vary, common anxiety symptoms that show in children and teenagers with anxiety disorders include:

  • Irritability

  • Sleep difficulties

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Outbursts

  • Negative thoughts

  • Avoidance

Misdiagnosing Anxiety Disorder

Many of the symptoms associated with paediatric anxiety disorders are also common in other mental disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depressive disorders, and other mood disorders. An anxiety assessment for children will rule out other possible causes for these symptoms.

Because OCD and anxiety share many symptoms, for example, it is important that an anxiety assessment for kids differentiates between OCD and non-OCD anxiety disorders too.

Anxiety and depression can also often occur simultaneously, so a proper assessment is vital to ensure that the two are not confused.

Anxiety

What Causes Anxiety Disorders in Children?

The causes of early childhood anxiety and even anxiety in teenagers can widely vary.

It can be genetics or different life situations, but it is usually related to their closest environment (e.g. home, school, etc.).

During the assessment at Diverse Diagnostics, the child psychiatrist can gain a better understanding of where it comes from for each individual case.

If you’ve noticed anxiety symptoms in the last 3 months, contact us for your teenager or child to take the first step towards finding answers and solutions.

Our Child Anxiety Assessment Process

A proper interview will be completed by one of our child and adolescent consultant psychiatrists. The appointment will be done with the young individual and parents/carers will be required to be involved as well. After the anxiety diagnosis, the consultant will let you know what next steps are needed in terms of treatment.

Find out what you can expect from our online child anxiety assessment in Scotland below.

A Reliable Anxiety Scale

There are a number of different scales used to assess and diagnose child anxiety disorder in clinical psychology. The most commonly used of these include:

  • Paediatric Anxiety Rating Scale (PARS)

  • Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED)

We use the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED), a two-part assessment for children and adolescents up to the age of 18 years that involves a child report and parent report.

Based on the scoring of this child anxiety assessment, our consultant psychiatrist will be able to identify the diagnosis.

Types of Anxiety Disorders & Diagnoses

There are different types of anxiety disorders in children. Based on the anxiety symptoms and test we use, we can determine if your child has an anxiety disorder and which specific anxiety disorders they may be affected by. Other anxiety disorders can include:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder

  • Separation anxiety disorder

  • Social anxiety disorder or social phobia

  • Panic disorder or significant somatic symptoms

  • Significant school avoidance

When we are aware of these specifics, we are better equipped to support anxious children and young people and work out a treatment plan that will work for them. For example, knowing the difference between a child who is simply shy around unfamiliar people and a child with social anxiety disorder will impact the approach to the situation and empathy for the child.

Treatment Options for Child Anxiety Disorders

There is no one-size-fits-all solution or treatment plan, but the most common methods include counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and medication when needed. A combination of these is also common through psychopharmacological interventions. At Diverse Diagnostics our treatment plan offers a combined approach to all of the methods mentioned.

A psychopharmacologic treatment plan will involve a kind of combination therapy which makes use of medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) or tricyclic antidepressants along with counselling or therapy.

The most common form of therapy to assist with anxiety symptoms is cognitive behavioural therapy, as it encourages cognitive restructuring (e.g. a desensitisation to feared stimuli). Other types of therapy include relaxation training and social effectiveness therapy.

The best option for each individual will be based on their specific diagnosis, the severity of their symptoms, and their desired long term outcomes and goals.

Shared care

If medical treatment is required, Diverse Diagnostics can provide prescriptions under ‘Shared Care’ with your General Physician (GP). This means that your GP will need to agree prior to the initial medication appointment to provide NHS prescriptions.

All medication reviews for children and youths treated this way will be under the consultant psychiatrist at Diverse Diagnostics, who will also be responsible for the prescription and dosage specifications.

Diverse Diagnostics: Championing Young People’s Mental Health

At Diverse Diagnostics, one of our biggest objectives is to reduce the stigma around mental health and support young people and families as they navigate their symptoms and diagnoses. We achieve this through a patient-centred and empathetic approach that makes mental health diagnoses and treatment plans more accessible to residents in Scotland.

Over and above assessments for anxiety disorders in children, we also offer assessments for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, tics, and sleep disorders.

Dr Jagdish Basra, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Expert

Our Managing Director, Dr Jagdish Basra, is a fully qualified Consultant Child Behaviour Psychiatrist and Adolescent Psychiatrist. She has extensive experience both as a medical doctor and in diagnosing and treating a wide range of mental health conditions in children.

Let Us Support You & Your Family

Diagnosing an anxiety disorder early can make a world of difference in the quality of life of your child. We are here to support you and your family as you get your child on track towards better mental health.

Contact us to discuss our anxiety assessment for children online today.

Head office

Suite 7 Tribune Court,
2 Roman Road,
Bearsden,
Glasgow G61 2SW

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