When a child feels anxious, it's in our nature to want to relieve their suffering by avoiding the source of the stress. Dr. Kendra Read, Director of Anxiety Programs at Seattle Children’s Hospital, cautions that there's a better way, that will help your child feel empowered and better able to function. Listen as Dr. Read describes an effective approach she uses in her work with families.



Now we'd love to hear from you. What's bubbling up for you after hearing this vlog? Let us know in the comments section below!



  1. Gillian on April 28, 2020 at 8:36 am

    I’ve read that exposure therapy for children on the autistic spectrum can actually make the anxiety worse, as it doesn’t lessen over time. Like ‘repeatedly getting into a pool with a shark, it’s always going to hurt no matter how many times you do it,’
    Do any of your contacts know of effective therapies for bright children who have Aspergers?

  2. Michelle on April 28, 2020 at 9:17 am

    Exposure, “have you heard that term before”? lol, good stuff

  3. Rudy Ram on April 28, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Sound advice, palatable shared. There is much good to be achieved through CBT. Rudy R (grandparent).

  4. Abby on April 28, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    I’m going to keep trying not to step in when my son gets anxious but it’s hard for kids on the spectrum- they tend to erupt fast 0-100 in a second and take themselves out of the situation anyway. Any tips?

    • Kendra Read, PhD on May 1, 2020 at 11:58 am

      Sure! and agree that this is hard! I would find some small exposure steps to try out first while also helping your child recognize when they start to escalate (sometimes you’re doing this job for them, tbh). Sometimes this means smaller exposure steps than we initially anticipated or than naturally happen in your life. In that case, you might have to create practice situations or step in to help partially to make it a more successful exposure for your child and gradually step back more and more over time. We also want to reward them with praise and actual rewards (token systems, prizes, privileges, etc) for making progress on small goals. This will help them to keep coming back to do this hard work!

  5. Lorena on April 28, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Loved this!

  6. Lauren Hutchinson on April 29, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Hi Gillian,
    I have seen children with ASD and their families benefit from a variety of treatments from medication to cognitive behavioral strategies to treat anxiety. These treatments are best delivered through a clinician trained to work with an ASD population. In cases where the child struggled to participate or was unwilling, there is now an evidence-based program out of Yale that works with parents on their responses to a child’s anxiety called the SPACE program (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions). For milder anxiety, one of our B&Q experts, Dr. Dan Peters, has a great series of books for children and parents on anxiety called, “From Worrier to Warrior” that offers CBT skillbuilding.
    -Lauren with the B&Q Team

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