Calming the Storm Fears of your Child

Does your child have a weather-related phobia?????

The thunder rumbles and lightning strikes and that can mean sleepless nights for anxious children and the adults that care for them.

Most adults can handle a stormy night or two with a frightened child by their bed, but when fear turns to phobia a child cannot sometimes be consoled. Doctors can help children ride out the storm. Some children even may have to see a psychiatrist and psychotherapist when these fears become overwhelming.

Some children can’t sleep and they shake and have breathing problems at the first sign of a storm. Some children refuse to eat for days if they know a storm is on its way. Some children refuse to play outside in case a storm does start to show signs. Some children are just afraid of wind and are constantly check the television and watch the weather channel. Sometimes, a child starts having these fears later in childhood and they keep getting worse.

On advice from doctors some parents just try to distract the child during the storm but many parents say counseling is the best way to go when the fears are too strong.

The first thing a counselor will do is to check into the medical and family history to make sure the child isn’t troubled by other issues. The last step would be medication. Counseling teaches parents how to comfort the child without overdoing the comforting. This overdoing can make the child feel rewarded for the behavior and this encourages the behavior.

Daytime storms can be addressed with discussion, distraction and reassurance. Discuss what is really happening outside. Talk about how much the rain is needed for things to grow and people to drink. Showing a movie or playing a game could be fun and distracting.

It is not encouraged to say the thunder is “Angels bowling”. Rather, say what is really happening. Many parents take a frightened child into their bed at night if it is stormy out. If the child has not reached the phobia stage (extreme) parents are instead encouraged to have their child stay in their own bed with you at their side for a few minutes. Not an easy thing to do at 3 in the morning but good parenting is never easy.

Counselors work to desensitize a child’s fear by using exposure therapy. They may begin by looking at pictures of clouds, rain and weather and then walk outside on a cloudy day together and then a rainy one. Gradual exposure helps children work through their emotions instead of running away.

Where do I find out about child Support?

Office of the County Clerk

This division, in cooperation with the State of Florida Disbursement Unit (SDU), acts as the central depository for receiving, recording, reporting, monitoring and disbursing alimony and child support payments, in accordance with Florida Statutes, Section 61.181. Florida Law also directs that the clerk process liens for nonpayment of support. Additionally, the section processes court cases filed by the Department of Revenue, Office of Child Support Enforcement, and assists the judiciary during related court proceedings.

Automated child support payment information may be obtained by dialing the Clerk’s payment line at 407-742-3516 , or by calling the SDU, toll free, at (877) 769-0251. Clients must have their case number and social security number ready. This allows access to payment information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get child support for my child(ren)?

A court order is required to initiate payment through the Clerk’s Office. You will need to contact a private attorney or the Department of Revenue, Office of Child Support Enforcement for assistance in obtaining a court order.

What is the SDU?

The SDU is the State of Florida Disbursement Unit. This unit was established pursuant to recent changes to Section 61.1824, Florida Statutes, and provisions included in the Federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1999 (commonly known as the Welfare Reform Act). Under the new system, payments must be sent to the statewide processing unit in Tallahassee, called the State of Florida Disbursement Unit (FLSDU). This unit will process the payments and then issue checks to the receiving families.

How long will it take to get my check?

Payments received at the SDU are remitted the following business day. If a payment is made at the local Clerk’s Office, it must be transmitted to the SDU, and therefore the payment is remitted to the recipient the second business day.

Do you offer direct deposit?

Yes, for SDU cases only. To have your support payment deposited directly into your bank account, you must complete an authorization form and provide a voided check (for checking accounts) or a voided deposit slip (for savings accounts). Call the Child Support Department or the SDU to request an authorization form.

SDU has a toll-free payment information line. That number is (877) 769-0251

The absent parent is behind in the payment of child support. What can I do?

The Clerk’s Office has no enforcement authority. You will need to contact a private attorney, or the Department of Revenue, Office of Child Support Enforcement for assistance.

I have a new address or a new name. What do I need to do?

To make changes to the record, our office must receive notice of the change in writing. Always remember to include your case number on any correspondence.

How can I get copies of payments made on my case?

Payment records are available at a cost of $1.00 per page. You may submit your request and payment by mail, or come to the office and have the copies made while you wait.

Is there a teen parenting program in the Lake County School District?



Education for Teen Parents Program

Lake County School Board

525 N. Georgia Ave.

Howey-in-the-Hills, FL 34737

(352) 253-6781

* Click here for a pamphlet containing the information on this page.
Any student who is currently working towards a high school diploma and can document their pregnancy is eligible for this program. Also, currently enrolled parenting mothers and fathers are eligible when they document the birth of their child. In addition, babies of parents who are enrolled in the Education for Teen Parents (ETP) program or have completed the program may participate.


Students may earn a half elective credit in each of the following courses:

Health For Expectant Parents

Parenting I

Parenting II

Life Management Skills (Daily Living Skills)


The ETP curriculum includes instruction in such topics as prenatal health, labor and delivery, postnatal health, the benefits of sexual abstinence and the consequences of repeat pregnancies. Parenting skills include instruction in the stages of child growth and development, methods for aiding in the intellectual, language, physical and social development of children, and guidance on constructive
play activities.
Ancillary services are coordinated by Teen Parent Resource Teachers with parenting students and their eligible children.



Developmentally appropriate child care is provided for eligible children through contracted services
with Department of Children and Family Services approved providers.


Pre- and postnatal health care is provided by the Lake County Public Health Department. Healthy
Start services are also provided for eligible students


Personal and family counseling is available through the school system and the Department of
Children and Family Services for eligible students. Other public and private agencies provide
material and support when possible.


Bus transportation is provided for all students. Babies must ride in an approved safety seat, provided by the parent
The Education For Teen Parents program embodies the
following concepts:
   · The continuation of a high school education will increase wage-earning opportunities and
    therefore directly improve the quality of life.


· The health of pregnant teens and their babies can be greatly improved.


· The preparation for becoming a responsible parent can be significantly enhanced.


   · The improved health and school-readiness of the children of these students can be attained
    through child care in a safe, healthy, and stimulating environment.


   · The prevention of a repeat pregnancy during the teen years can positively affect the lives of
    parents and children and will reduce the drain on welfare programs.
The teen parent program is a voluntary student support and assistance program designed to provide
a specialized parenting curriculum and coordination of ancillary services to meet the needs of students
who are pregnant and students who are mothers or fathers.
   Teen Parent Teachers:

         · Help students cope with being pregnant and becoming a parent.
         · Encourage and support academic achievement and school attendance.
         · Help coordinate social and health services for family.
         · Coordinate transportation and day care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
         · Deliver the parenting curriculum