The Highly Sensitive Child - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-14-2007, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Someone recommended this book to us.

I had some very high hopes but its really not meeting our needs so far. dd meets 19 things on the list for her self-test so I'm fairly sure its pretty accurate.
In particular these are the things I checked off for her:
startles easily.
complains about scratchy clothing, seams in socks, or labels against his/her skin. (only some items, usually its texture related)
learns better from a gentle correction than strong punishment.
seems to read my mind.
uses big words for his/her age. (started reading at 3.5 and has always been very verbal)
notices the slightest unusual odor.
has a clever sense of humor.
seems very intuitive.
is hard to get to sleep after an exciting day.
wants to change clothes if wet or sandy. (has issues with things that don't feel right and has since an infant)
asks lots of questions.
is a perfectionist. (gets very easily upset if she can't do something right the first time and will give up)
notices the distress of others.
asks deep, thought-provoking questions.
is very sensitive to pain.
is bothered by noisy places.
considers if it is safe before climbing high.
performs best when strangers aren't present.
feels things deeply.

The beginning of the book that explains what HSC are was very interesting and I definitely found dd in the descriptions and stories.

I was eager to understand more and get to the chapters for age specific parenting suggestions. But the entire chapter for toddlers/preschoolers is nearly limited to helping your child deal with new situations and transitioning from one place to another. dd does not have problems with this.

According to the book HSCs make up 15-20% of the population with 70% being introverts. dd is definitely an extrovert.

I need solutions on how to get her to do the things we ask her to do without whining. How to help her not cry as a first response to anything negative (not wanting to go somewhere, not getting something, time for a nap, etc).

As an infant dd was often very overstimulated but now she likes going new places and gets very excited by it. In fact a lot more excited than most kids and it results in a physical display (shaking of her hands in a specific manner and a particular expression on her face combined with breathlessness).

The best I can figure she is an extrovert HSC. Are there any good resources that you know of?


I really need help to be a better parent to her. The chapter on how to parent if you are not sensitive is helpful to me (since I'm the one with the problem and need to learn to be more patient) but I need to know the best way to approach her and what kind of discipline works best.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#2 of 14 Old 02-14-2007, 09:57 PM
 
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Wow... I hate to just jump in out of nowhere, especially not being a parent myself (and being brand-spankin'-new to the forums), but that list comes frighteningly close to describing me as a child. The only thing on there that I didn't have issue with was the scratchy-tag thing. I had GREAT difficulty throughout elementary school "learning" not to cry. I was "that kid who cries all the time." I did reasonably well in school, but my teachers held me in the "average" reading and spelling groups until fifth grade, despite the fact that I was reading several years above my grade level, because they weren't sure I could handle the pressure of not getting the answers right the first time. My mom just told me about this recently (I'm 27 years old now).

I still cry, by default, as my response to negative emotion... I cry when I'm angry, I cry when I'm frustrated, I cry when I'm sad (duh), I cry when I'm tired (if you can believe that). I guess I'm just "that adult that cries easily," although I've learned to hold back the urge until I'm not, you know, at the front of the classroom.

I wish I could offer more help/support... but I was just struck by the accuracy of both your initial description and the list you just posted. I know my teachers struggled with what to do with me... I remember being referred to for special education testing, for gifted/talented testing, for psychological counseling, and for a "feelings group," where they put me with three girls who were having anger issues. I don't think there was an answer, really... I know I could have used (when I was old enough to manage it... probably by second grade or so) a "hot pass" like one of my coworkers has... it's like a bathroom pass, but you can take it if you're feeling an emotion that is either unsafe to others (for the kids with anger issues), or something you just need to get over by yourself, without the other kids saying, "So-and-so's crying. What's wrong?"

Wow, my third post, and I'm already being wordy and pointless. I think it's a new record.

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#3 of 14 Old 02-14-2007, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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blizzard, do check out the site. She has resources and books for adults as well.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#4 of 14 Old 02-14-2007, 10:52 PM
 
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I will check it out... thanks! I wish I could have been more help to you, though.

-Sara

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#5 of 14 Old 02-15-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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hmmm, some of the things you mentioned sounds very similar to my son. we have actually been doing behavior therapy for this which has been very successful for us. our behavioralist doesn't want to know about the diagnosis per say, she works with our ds and is getting the results, so works for us.

my ds would whine (still does) about having to do things, not get his way and we teaching him to use words about how he feels, also he can show us pictures or use sign as an alternate to whinning. So the whinning is decreasing quickly.

behavior is communication, we just need to persuade them to use alternate communication and reinforce it.

as far as his sensory issues, with tags for example, you just have to try to remove the ones that seem to cause them the most distress. We don't know what it feels like to our dc, it could feel like needles or burning to them.

we did the brushing technique and other high sensory activities with the bulk of those being in the morning for many months and he slowly became desensitized and/or outgrew some of those sensations. in those instances an OT should be helpful finding what works for your dd.

We all want to be better parents, but it is really tough trying to get through the maze of info out there, i really hope you get some helpful ideas here.

Good luck and you are a great parent.
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#6 of 14 Old 02-15-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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I have a highly sensitive child too, although he is the introvert kind. It can be very difficult at times. We have a whole thread (very long now) over in Finding Your Tribe: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=196898

Come and join us!

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#7 of 14 Old 02-15-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
The best I can figure she is an extrovert HSC. Are there any good resources that you know of?[/B]
Not all highly sensitive children have issues with transitions -- or she could be like my ds who was excited to go somewhere new as long as I was there. If I left him (like in a summer camp situation or school) he became very upset. He would tell me that he wanted to go, but would melt down when it actually came time for me to leave.

Are you certain that she is extroverted? Check out this website http://www.theintrovertadvantage.com It has some interesting things to say about introverts and it dispells a lot of myths about what introversion is and isn't. BTW, I am introverted, but people are still stunned to hear that when I tell them. I've learned very well how to adapt to an extroverted world. Introversion isn't all about being shy - it's more about where you go to recharge your batteries.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#8 of 14 Old 02-15-2007, 12:12 PM
 
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I think that you are just becoming aware of the specific things that effect her and how much they do. So give yourself some time to absorb how things effect her. The effect will change depending on other factors such as tiredness, hunger, how many different stimulating things are happening at once ect. I personally can't stand having competing noise from multiple sources for instance.

I would consider this that you posted "how to help her not cry as a first response to anything negative (not wanting to go somewhere, not getting something, time for a nap, etc)." to be a transitioning issue. At least from my perspective as a HSP. I need mental prep, I need to plan out stuff and being thrust into doing something I hadn't planned is stressful. Maybe it's different for her and she isn't like that, but I'm tossing that out there just in case.

How old is your dd?
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#9 of 14 Old 02-15-2007, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexbeach View Post
I have a highly sensitive child too, although he is the introvert kind. It can be very difficult at times. We have a whole thread (very long now) over in Finding Your Tribe: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=196898

Come and join us!

Lex
Thank you so much!

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#10 of 14 Old 02-15-2007, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She's 4.5

In my view, I think that she occasionally has issues with transitioning but only when we are leaving something fun. She cries when she is overwhelmed though, like with toys. We have packed away nearly all of the toys and she is still overwhelmed with picking them up. I have to point out each individual toy for her to pick up, which helps her a lot.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#11 of 14 Old 02-16-2007, 03:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
She's 4.5 In my view, I think that she occasionally has issues with transitioning but only when we are leaving something fun. She cries when she is overwhelmed though, like with toys. We have packed away nearly all of the toys and she is still overwhelmed with picking them up. I have to point out each individual toy for her to pick up, which helps her a lot.
those things are just normal -- most little kids don't want to stop doing something fun, esp. if they are overtired, and few children can get enthused about picking everything up. I'm not sure that your expectations are are realistic for your child's age. (Actually my DD without sensory issues was far worse about both of those things!)

On your first post the things you listed seemed more inline with sensory issues.

One of my DDs has sensory issues and the book I found the most helpful was The Out of Sync Child by Kranowitz (sp??). It has lots of ideas of things to do to help kids learn to process sensory information. The things that help my DD the most are activities where her body is moving through space -- swimming is number 1, horseback riding, gymnastics, and play ground equipment are all good. The more time she has with her body moving through space the easier everything else is for her.

Quote:
. How to help her not cry as a first response to anything negative (not wanting to go somewhere, not getting something, time for a nap, etc).
with my DD, we really went to her level and tried to make her world as appropriate for her as possible rather than expecting her to adapt to the world. She was no longer napping at 4, but a quiet time on the couch with a pile of library books helped her refresh herself for the afternoon and was something she enjoyed. We cut back on going places when that was stressful for her.

Also, if you DD has processed stuff in her diet, cutting it out may help.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 14 Old 02-16-2007, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that is normal behavior. That was actually my point

The chapter in HSC for toddlers/preschoolers seemed to cover transitions almost exclusively and that is not a problem for dd, she has a very normal response to it.



Unrelated to the above, we watched "Curious George" yesterday and dd loved the moving but found the part near the beginning when the man looks into the sun and it hurts horrible. She couldn't watch it and was talking about it later. She asked to watch the movie again but wanted us to skip the part with the eye burning. When she does watch movies on the computer she knows how to move from one part to the next so she will watch the happy beginning then skip to the end where its happy again. A good example is "Milo and Otis" the story of a dog and cat that ends with them both having babies. She'll watched the birth part over and over but not the middle as its too overwhelming for her.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#13 of 14 Old 02-16-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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Wow--I checked out that link--and did the self test for adults. I scored a 24. That is totally me. I am an introvert and dislike crowds, I'm uncomfortable with loud noises and strong smells. I also dislike an overcrowded schedule. I get really upset by it. I'm definately sensory avoiding in general. This is interesting to me--because everyone called me "shy" as a child and even sometimes as an adult--although I try not to be so much now. I can tell you that I was different as a child--I did prefer to spend much time alone in my room reading, especially reading encylopedias. I had one close friend--didn't hang out with large groups of people. I prefer poetry and music, writing and art. I never though of myself as highly sensitive--more--intuitive, empathizing, introverted...
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#14 of 14 Old 02-19-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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i've got a question for y'all. i've been posting sporadically on the highly sensitive child tribe thread, but what i'm wondering is when is someone just highly sensitive and when does someone have sensory processing disorder (SID/SPD/<insertotherinitialshere>). we just had our parent teacher conference for dd1 this morning and i am reevaluating everything. dd1 has a hard time separating from me and since she goes to private school i have been staying about half and hour with her in the morning until she feels settled and secure. i think the teachers are ready for me to stop that. she also sometimes has issues during the day (there was a particular incident with shoes not wanting to go on).

she definitely seems a little "out of sync", but i'm just not sure how "out of sync" she is. she's usually pretty agreeable at home although has a tendency to be a little overly upset about things when she does get upset. she isn't pushed as much at home and i just don't know if that's a good thing or not. i don't think we're going to do public school next year (square peg/round hole), but am not sure how she's going to do if we stay in the private $chool and move up a grade.

i have also considered homeschooling. she would definitely get more socialization at school since i would go crazy if i were around 15-20 kids for 6 hrs a day (that ain't gonna happen w/ homeschooling), but there's a great homeschooling community here so there would be plenty of opportunity for not quite so much socialization. i'm just not sure if it's the best thing for her or not.

anyway, i can have her evaulated for SPD through the schools, but i worry that it will be traumatizing for her (she gets anxious about new situations) and i guess i worry it will label her with a "disorder" when i wonder if maybe she's just "highly sensitive" which is of course a label, too. i guess i'm concerned about kinda putting her into "the system" (medical/OT/school) like that. probably my anxieties, but i would love some input. i think i'll cross post on the HSC tribe thread, too...

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