I will never forget the day my child's principal said that because of the big state-wide tests that were coming up, the entire staff was having the kids chant, "I think I can, I think I can!" Everything I read says that a positive attitude will help anything, but when he said that, my heart sank. For the child who struggles every day with normal reading, writing, and mathematics tasks, spending so much time on preparing for the tests and chanting these things, only made her anxious.
More often than not, when there is a child with learning issues, there is also anxiety. Everyone is different, so this isn't true in all cases , but many times there is a correlation between the two.
Think about it. A child who is smart but cannot easily read looks around the classroom every day and realizes that the rest of the children can read. They ask themselves why can't I? I must be STUPID! So, every day the child has to go to a place where he try's to hide his stupidity from his friends. What if they found out? He might be teased, or worse. He can try to hide it from the teacher, but the teacher always knows. He has to hand in the class work and then she will see the mistakes in his writing or math. After working so hard to hold all this inside all day, by the time he goes home to Mom, he lets her have it!!
Poor Mom, because she is a safe person, because she will always love him, all the anxiety of the day comes out as yelling, frustrated fuming, and general angst.
As a mom, I know. I've been there.
Fortunately things did not stay that way. The brain can change and that includes overcoming anxiety.
One of my best friends has a daughter who started college this past fall. Even though she was a good student in high school, college was new and much harder. She was getting test anxiety like she never had before. My friend gave her exercises to combat the anxiety and they worked so well, that she shared them with her roommates and her dorm. The exercises? Integration exercises for the Moro reflex.
The Moro reflex is there when a baby is born, and through the integration of this reflex, the nervous system becomes mature. If this reflex fails to integrate then the person can be left with an immature nervous system, and is therefore, well, nervous!
Take a look at this video to learn more about the Moro Reflex.
It takes some time to integrate, but if you get started now, by the time tests and exams come around, anxiety should be under control!
Now all that has to be done is the studying. Arggghhh!