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What Is Separation Anxiety in Children?

Learn about separation anxiety in children from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.


Separation Anxiety Disorder commonly occurs in children and can start as early as 3 or 4 years old, the preschool age, and move on through adolescence and adult hood. Separation anxiety commonly is when a child becomes extremely upset to leave their care giver or their figure of attachment. Children with Separation Anxiety Disorder may become very tearful when left in a certain situation where they feel like they might be alone. Their tears may range from subtle crying all the way to extreme tantrums and avoidance of being left alone. Children have a great deal of difficulty being comforted when they feel anxious due to the separation. While separation anxiety can be handled through behavioral strategies and interventions, it's usually a systemic approach between teacher's and parent's or other adults in the child's life to help them feel comfortable and secure. Over time children frequently become more comfortable in their situation, and the Separation Anxiety symptoms do decrease. While there are many different features of Separation Anxiety Disorder, this is a brief overview of some of the signs and symptoms.

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