If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might remember that I’ve written several different posts regarding obsessive-compulsive disorder and school. In this post I talk about how important it is for teachers and other school personnel to at least have a basic understanding of OCD:
Imagine this scenario: An eight-year-old distraught girl musters the courage to confide in her teacher that she fears she might seriously harm her classmates. She arranges the items on her desk in a particular manner to keep anything horrible from happening. The teacher, alarmed, follows her school’s protocol, and before you know it, the “authorities” are involved, the girl is traumatized, her parents are upset and confused, and goodness knows what else happens.
Now imagine this same scenario, except the teacher in question has a basic understanding of various brain disorders, including OCD. After asking the girl a few questions, it is obvious to the teacher that this child is terrified of her obsessions, has no desire to hurt her classmates but rather desperately wants to keep them safe, and organizes her desk compulsively to make sure everything is “all right.” The teacher arranges a meeting with the appropriate counselors, as well as the girl’s parents, a referral to a therapist who specializes in treating OCD follows, and official diagnosis and treatment begins.
What a difference education can make!
From their website:
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, as well as more specific tools for teachers, administrators, and other school personnel who may work with students with anxiety and/or OCD. Parents and students will also find tools and information to help them advocate for school accommodations, as well as to educate their teachers and classmates about OCD and anxiety.
How great is this! While the parent section and the student section of the site have not yet launched, the school system section is up and running and I am so impressed with the comprehensive information and resources included on the website.
Congratulations to the IOCDF on a job well done and I can’t wait until the site is complete in 2019. School personnel, parents, and students will now have easy access to much-needed information about OCD and anxiety.