Speaker: Pardis Khosravi, Clinical Director
Pardis Khosravi: Hi, my name is Dr Pardis Khosravi. I'm a licensed clinical psychologist and the Clinical Director here at CHC. So the question asked today is what are some ways that I can respond when my nine year old son is having a panic attack? That's a great question. So when we're having a panic attack, our fight or flight system is going, so our body is perceiving danger in the environment and is really geared towards survival. And so one of the first things that we want to do to support somebody who's having a panic attack is to help them calm down their body's nervous system. And one of the best ways to do that is to sit down with your kiddo and walk them through a deep breathing exercise. So for some young kids, they really like the analogy of blowing out candles on a birthday cake and so we will take a deep breath and then we will blow out the candles. For other kiddos who need sort of a visual anchor for their breath. I like to have them trace their hands so they hold up their hand like this and they'll trace the outside of their fingers, they breathe in and then breathe out, and breathe in and breathe out, and breathe in and breathe out until they've done their whole hand. And that's a way of really helping your kid out calm their body's nervous system to then be able to talk it out or to do something else. But you really want to first start by modeling and helping them through a breathing exercise.