The following is an excerpt from Name and Tame Your Anxiety: A Kid's Guide by Summer Batte. It was published in April 2021 by Free Spirit Publishing. The book aims to give kids ages 9–13 practical strategies for managing their anxiety.
When you were younger, you probably had an adult explain to other adults what you needed. Maybe your mom explained to a teacher that you get nervous about being called on in school. Or perhaps the principal explained to your gym teacher that you feel less anxious and more able to participate if you know ahead of time what you’ll be doing in class. And then the adults worked out a plan to help you manage your anxiety. An adult advocated for you by explaining what you needed in order to be successful.
Advocate: (AD-vo-kate). To support or champion another person’s cause or needs. To self-advocate means to stand up for your own needs. As a noun, an advocate (AD-vo-ket) is a person who stands up for others’ needs. A self-advocate is a person who stands up for their own needs.
As you get older, it’s important to be able to advocate for yourself. Being a self-advocate means understanding the things that you are good at and that you like as well as the things that are more difficult for you. When you self-advocate, you are not complaining or asking to get out of doing something. You are explaining the reason something is difficult for you and asking for help (also called an accommodation) to make it possible for you to do it. Self-advocacy gets you the help you need from other people.
If you are self-advocating about anxiety, it works best if you also explain to the person that you are working on managing your anxiety. Together, you can work out an accommodation to hel...
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