How to Talk to School Staff

Schools are legally required to assist children with disabilities and include caregivers in the process. However, school personnel may be unfamiliar with anxiety/OCD and unaware of steps they can take to better support affected children. Therefore, caregivers and mental health professionals should collaborate with members of school communities to ensure that children with anxiety and/or OCD are adequately supported in school settings.

Surprises should be avoided at meetings, and agendas should be clarified in advance. A good practice is for conversations and meetings to be followed up with notes of appreciation. This can at times be difficult for parents, because every conversation about the suffering of your child can be painful and stressful, understandably compromising any parent’s ability to think clearly or objectively about what to say, how to say it, when to say something, and when to remain silent. Because of this, it might be a good idea to bring other parties, such as your child’s therapist, doctor, and/or a school advocate, to the table.