Anxiety disorders in children are persistent fears, worries or anxiety that disrupt their ability to participate in play, school or typical age-appropriate social situations.
Separation Anxiety Disorder: Separation anxiety is normal in very young children (those between 8 and 14 months old). Children often go through a phase when they are "clingy" and afraid of unfamiliar people and places. When this fear occurs in a child over age 6 years, is excessive, and lasts longer than four weeks, the child may have separation anxiety disorder.
Separation anxiety disorder occurs when a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from a loved one, usually a parent or other caregiver, to whom the child is attached.
Symptoms: An unrealistic and lasting worry that something bad will happen to the parent or caregiver if the child leaves, an unrealistic and lasting worry that something bad will happen to the child if he or she leaves the caregiver, refusal to go to school in order to stay with the caregiver, refusal to go to sleep without the caregiver being nearby or to sleep away from home, fear of being alone, nightmares about being separated, bed wetting, complaints of physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomachaches on school days and repeated temper tantrums or pleading.
Selective/Elective Mutism is characterized by a marked, emotionally determined selectivity in speaking, such that the child demonstrates a language competence in some situations but fails to speak in other (definable) situations. The disorder is usually associated with marked personality features involving social anxiety, withdrawal, sensitivity, or resistance.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)