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2021 Kids Anxiety: Facing New Challenges with Occupational & Speech Therapy

Preparing children & families for the challenges ahead.

In some ways, our kids have been impacted by the pandemic more than anyone. We’ve all heard our children express some or all of these feelings in one form or another in the past year and half;

  • “My daughter cannot and will not attend her best friend’s birthday party.”
  • “My son is afraid to go back to school in September for in-person learning.”
  • “She refuses to go out to a restaurant, grocery shopping or even Target with me!”
  • “My son is not talking, and I am concerned it is because he has been home with only my husband and I with limited to no outside exposure”
  • “If I go back to playing soccer with my teammates, will I contract COVID?”

Kids are experiencing social anxieties with in-person interactions, sensory concerns (overstimulation and not having the right tools to know how to react), and behavioral challenges.

They’re having difficulty processing various environments and situations; being left unable to communicate their wants and needs (due to limited words and/or not having the appropriate social language). They’re avoiding a range of environments outside of their home. They’ve become accustomed to the four walls of their home with immediate family and only virtually engaging with peers and teachers!

How can Speech & Occupational Therapy help?

Speech and Occupational Therapy can help you and your little ones start to remember what it was like prior to the pandemic in a few ways:

  • Relearn activities of daily living outside the home.
  • Get the brain reworking and rewiring all of these “new” experiences of life.
  • Reactivate the sensory systems to adjust to the old ways.
  • Provide the speech and language skills needed to engage with others.

Remember what it was like to see your child smile at their classmates entering school? Or going to a friend’s birthday party? Or what it was like to see their excitement after they won the big game with their teammates?

All the tools necessary to get your child back

When we’re looking for help, and seeking answers regarding our kids' social interaction, sometimes pediatric occupational therapy and speech treatment is an appropriate choice.


Carissa Jannicelli-Pampanin MS OTR/L and Deanna Jannicelli – Corby MS CCC-SLP, provide speech and OT therapy services for kids in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.