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Local expert shares how to handle back-to-school anxiety

August 20, 2022
KVUE (ABC Austin)
Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center's Dr. Allison Chase shares tips on how to handle back-to-school anxiety including signs your child may be anxious (and how to help) on KVUE (ABC Austin).

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With back-to-school kicking off throughout Central Texas, starting a new school year with new teachers and a new environment can bring on anxiety for some kids.

Experts say since the start of the pandemic, there has been an incredible increase in anxiety symptoms, as well as depression symptoms in young children. 

Dr. Allison Chase, the clinical director at Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center, said as school is starting up again, there's continued concern about how children and adolescents are going to navigate all their emotions. 

"All of those kids that have been suffering from symptoms of anxiety are still dealing with it. So the new environment, the new school year, new teachers, different routine, change of routine from the summer, all of those things are quite significant," said Chase. 

There was an increase in anxiety reported in children during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the isolation that occurred by not being able to go to school and socialize with friends.

"Oftentimes anxiety can occur even with their parents or caregivers at home. Kids are going to pick up on all of that. So kids are often like a sponge for a lot of the emotions that are going on in our world. I have no doubt that contributed to it," said Chase. 

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