About Anxiety in the Classroom

Anxiety in the Classroom is an online resource center for school personnel, students, and their families. This website provides general information, resources, and materials about anxiety and OCD as they relate to the school setting. It also has more specific tools for teachers, administrators, and other school personnel who may work with students with anxiety or OCD. In addition, parents and students will find tools and information to help them advocate for school accommodations, as well as to educate teachers and classmates about OCD and anxiety.

The Need for Anxiety in the Classroom

OCD and anxiety are very common in children and can take a tremendous toll on the child’s school performance and social functioning. Approximately one in every 200 children in the United States suffers from OCD or a related disorder.

  • Over half of adults with OCD report that their symptoms began before age 18.
  • The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that around 30% of youth have experienced an anxiety disorder.
  • A recently funded IOCDF study has shown that OCD significantly impairs an individual’s ability to take advantage of educational opportunities.
  • A recent study showed that OCD has a pervasive and profound impact on education across all educational levels, particularly when it has an early age of onset.

Unfortunately, the professionals who interact with youth the most (such as school personnel and pediatricians) are not trained to recognize anxiety/OCD in children. This means the average child with a mental health condition will wait years after displaying symptoms to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Anxiety in the Classroom was developed by the International OCD Foundation to reduce the negative impact of anxiety and OCD on youth.

Development of Anxiety in the Classroom

To develop this website, we conducted a series of nationwide surveys to ask school personnel, families, and students about their experiences with anxiety/OCD in the school setting. The information we received from these surveys helped to tailor the website content, which was developed by many of the leading pediatric anxiety/OCD clinicians and researchers in the United States.

This site includes information for school personnel of all types, families of youth who have anxiety/OCD, and the students themselves. It will be continually updated with much more information to come. We hope you find this new resource to be invaluable.

Thank you to our many contributors and supporters:

  • Denise Egan Stack, LMHC
  • Gail Adams, EdD
  • Eric Storch, PhD
  • Aureen Wagner, PhD
  • Evelyn Stewart, MD
  • Mary Kathleen Norris, LPC
  • Lisa Coyne, PhD
  • Brian Olsen, PhD
  • Lynne Rachlis
  • Julie Friedman, JD
  • Marni Jacob, PhD
  • Noah Symmes-Deszo
  • Andrea Guastello, PhD
  • Maryam Jernigan-Noesi, PhD
  • Michelle Aiello, BS
  • Jasmin Brooks, MA, LPA
  • Our dedicated volunteer team of reviewers, consisting of students, parents, administrators, educators, and mental health professionals.

About the International OCD Foundation

The mission of the IOCDF is to ensure that no one affected by OCD and related disorders suffers alone. Our community provides help, healing, and hope.

Our vision is that everyone impacted by OCD and related disorders has immediate access to effective treatment and support.

The IOCDF provides up-to-date education and resources, strengthens community engagement, delivers quality professional training, and advances groundbreaking research.

The International OCD Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. Founded in 1986 by a small group of individuals with OCD, the Foundation has grown into an international organization serving a broad community of individuals with OCD and related disorders, their family members and loved ones, and mental health professionals and researchers around the world. We have affiliates in 26 states and territories in the US, in addition to global partnerships with other OCD organizations and mental health non-profits around the world. To learn more about our resources, visit iocdf.org.

Our Work Young Person with anxiety jumping over a ball
Our Work Young people with OCD helping each other
Our Work Teacher looking up info on OCD