AKA: Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
Highly Sensitive Child (HSC)
Sensory Processing Sensitivity is a genetic trait present in about 20% of the population. It has been studied in-depth, in detail, and across the world. Dr. Elaine Aron coined the term “Highly Sensitive Person” in the 1990s to easily identify individuals with this trait. This is NOT a diagnosis but a trait – like having blue eyes or being born left-handed. Still, it comes with more variable and interesting consequences.
Highly Sensitive Children:
A highly sensitive child is born with a nervous system that is more aware and quick to react to everything. Highly sensitive kids are quick to grasp subtle changes. They reflect deeply before acting. Often, they also behave conscientiously. Highly sensitive children are also easily overwhelmed by high levels of stimulation, changes that are sudden or unexpected, and the emotional distress of others.
There is a wide variety of ways highly sensitive children present themselves and sometimes this is difficult to discern. Some kids may seem to show as very intense and others as very calm. Still, all children with this trait are very sensitive to their emotional and physical environment. This is very important to understand as it often grounds future possible predispositions.
Is my child highly sensitive?
Here is a link to a questionnaire that can help guide you. https://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-child-test/
Nothing is set in stone as children change so much with age and you know your child best. Reading “The Highly Sensitive Child” By Dr. Elaine Aron can give you more information on the trait to decide on your own.
As a highly sensitive person myself, I find myself educating a lot of parents and children about the trait. Very often this leads to depathologizing certain behaviors or assumptions about the self or a child – such as labels of “shy”, “introverted”, “anxious”, “depressed”, and more. It is worth looking into this to help your child thrive and be their best selves.
Make an appointment with me to further explore the topic, your child, and find out more. I have spent years on my journey to finding out about this trait, learning about it, and realizing that I carry it myself. This journey took me further and further, to not only understand myself now but also understand my past and my self-developed coping strategies or tendencies that were not necessarily best for my trait. I have read the books, the research and explored this topic deeply. As a scientist, I brought out my proverbial microscope. I went on an HSP retreat and met with amazing people who taught me more and met Dr. Aron. I am still on the journey to finding out more about myself and helping others learn about their trait or their child’s trait.
I would love to talk to you about this topic that I am highly passionate about.
Best wishes for your family’s well-being.