Sensitivities & gifted . . . intertwined? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 02-17-2010, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have read about this before in other threads, but being very new to this world I still seem to need to talk it out.

I was talking to my dd's teacher yesterday about her testing for the gifted program and her support of me requesting my dd also be tested for an LD.
From the first conference until now she keep mentioning how sensitive my dd is. I have to be honest, at first I didn't get this. But now with more reading I am understanding, she is the child who will fall down and say "I'm o.k." but if you look at her wrong she burst into tears.

But in the last 6 months other things have been becoming more prevalent. She has never wanted to wear blue jeans and I had always chalked this up to the fact that she is a round small girl and jeans just aren't comfortable. Now socks with words on the bottom hurt her feet, scalloped elastic on her panties hurt her belly, tags in clothes she has worn for over a year suddenly must go.
This morning for example I found her in the kitchen hacking at a shirt with a pair of scissors trying to get the tag out. She managed to make the shirt unwearable and it turned into the giant crying fit. Just one of many fits that have occurred in the last few weeks about clothes.

It feels like all of this just happened over night. Or maybe I was blind to who my dd really was. I have no idea how to deal with these issues, I'm afraid now to say anything to her because it will set her off.
Does this have anything to do with the possibly of being gifted or are these issues something that is unrelated?

I mean, 3 months ago I had no idea she could be gifted, all I could see is the possible LD and now all of these emotional and physical issues.
Am I just a bad mom that was ignoring all of these things or can they really just appear?
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#2 of 12 Old 02-17-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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Dabrowski overexcitabilities gifted

Yes, they can be intertwined.
Tammy
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#3 of 12 Old 02-19-2010, 04:49 AM
 
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Hi,

things sound rough at home.

From my bad days with my boys, I would say that there are some overlaps, but if there's an increase in meltdowns, there is probably more than meet the eye. Their emotional fragility depend on their sense of well-being - e.g. on a normal day, they will just ask me to cut the tag off for them with p's and q's. On a bad day it would be whining and crying and finally, (accusatory)"why didn't you cut it off?! You know I don't like it! You know that!!" More wailing.

It could be something as simple as being tired and hungry, being over scheduled and hence burnt out, or something could be going on in school that's bothering ds1; for ds2 it would be when his eczema is flaring up. During these episodes, unreasonable as they seem, the best response is TLC, snacks, and staying calm.

You did not say much about your daughter, but we've been to the OT who recommended me The Out Of Sync Child for reading. The head OT did tell me that in his experience there are some overlaps in the profile between children with SPD and gifted kids that go to him, so it's pretty hard to tease them apart, but generally, when the child is more comfortable and confident of his body, he will be more accomodating towards the outside world. I see that in DS1. His improved agility and reaction time mean that he's no longer on the defensive around other kids, because physically, he can handle or anticipate them now.

As for the being sensitive to facial expressions, yeah, that's DS1 too. The psychologist even noted that in her report. I dealt with that head on. I had a talk with DS1 and told him not to read too deeply into things. We talked about other people having bad days and how that affects their behaviour, it could be a passing thought etc. We have an agreement that if he's ever not sure what my expression or tone mean, he is to ASK me, and he has done so many times since that talk. I wouldn't have believed that I had to spell it out for him, but I did.

By the way, did you previously post on your daughter's reading and I put a link to visual-spatial learning? I just want to add that another mum later mentioned a book Reading Reflex and I checked it out of the library and have been trying it out with DS1 and I'm seeing improvement! (thanks to that mum!) His spelling has taken a great leap forward and he can now spell things that he couldn't just three weeks ago.

I also read up on the Ron Davis method and the idea of "trigger words" - certain words that the brain stumble over and confuses the child while reading. I got DS1 to read me two pages, noting down all the words he stumbled over - words that I would have expected him to know - and it has been quite a revelation to me. He had a small number of sight words confused, or had them identified as another anagram. Because they occur so frequently, his reading was halting, but once these words were removed, he was much more fluent. We are now working on re-learning these words thoroughly to re-wire the eye-brain connection. (Ron Davis method apparently involves moulding clay words, but I think you can find your own method.) His reading confidence has soared now that he understands what is going on.

His left-right orientation is still confused, so we still rely a lot on strategies for reading and writing orientation, but it's still one of the biggest improvement I've seen in the past year.

hope something in the above ramble is useful. And if you were not the same poster who had raised the reading issue, I really apologise for being irrelevant!
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#4 of 12 Old 02-19-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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but if there's an increase in meltdowns, there is probably more than meet the eye. Their emotional fragility depend on their sense of well-being - e.g. on a normal day, they will just ask me to cut the tag off for them with p's and q's. On a bad day it would be whining and crying and finally, (accusatory)"why didn't you cut it off?! You know I don't like it! You know that!!" More wailing.

It could be something as simple as being tired and hungry, being over scheduled and hence burnt out, or something could be going on in school that's bothering ds1; for ds2 it would be when his eczema is flaring up. During these episodes, unreasonable as they seem, the best response is TLC, snacks, and staying calm.
I notice this as well with my DD.
I have learned to find her triggers and plan ahead to avoid the melt down.
My DD has worn the same brand of shoes for years, when we find something she is happy with I'll buy multiple sizes

Many gifted kids are, very sensitive to stimulation, emotions, and change.
Ex: If they have a field trip, or do something different at school, they are likely to bring all that anxiety home and meltdown over little things. Sensitive children can also be triggered by the emotions and stress of the people around them.

The trick to surviving life with a sensitive child is to plan ahead, never rush them, LOL, and learn to laugh when you really want to cry....
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#5 of 12 Old 02-19-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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This fall, just before and after DS turned 3, we noticed a huge increase in sensitivites , meltdowns (the death conversations! I had a thread about it because I was so out of my depth), inflexibilities etc. I thought "This must be the 3.5 horridness people are writing about, just a bit asynchronously early...".
Ever since Christmas, it's so much better. Pre-Christmas stresses (I had a lot of musical engagements) are over, we've had a lot of free time together, I have had to cut down on all activities including work because of my early pregnancy - I can just tell his sensitvities go up and down with how much time we spend together. Meaning me and him - his papa is a pt sahd but he's never ever accepted that. He keeps telling me to stay home with him and send papa to work.
It's one of the things that I think will make having a new sibling a lot easier for him - I will be around so much more.

MeDH DS1 10/06 DD 08/10 DS2 10/12with SB and
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#6 of 12 Old 02-19-2010, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, there is some great advice here.

Something I just realized in the last week is that I thought all of the issues where just a normal part of being a kid. She is my first and I always talked with my friends, (her friends moms) about sensitivities. Their children have them as well, some even worse.
But then I find out that all of these kids except for one is being tested for gifted at their different schools. So I thought that the 2 could be linked.

I know have a better understanding as to why my dd has made the friends she has. Two of her best friends are more outwardly gifted and I never could understand how she clicked with them. Now I see in her what has been covered my the possible LD.

Sorry I realize this doesn't have much to do with my OP, but it's all floating around in my head and just comes spilling out when I started reading and typing.

deminc, yes I was talking about my dd's reading. Thanks for the advice, I will look into those ideas. In the last week things have improved because her teacher is now recognizing the issues I have always seen. She is supporting my request to have my dd tested and has even started working with her to improve those areas where she is struggling and documenting it. We are moving in the right direction, fingers crossed.

itsmyturn, I have noticed that planning ahead, giving extra time does help both my kids. I just have to remember that and do it.

Tigerle, spending more time with her, that's great advice. I have noticed that I have been preoccupied with other things that have kept me from spending time when her. So this weekend I'm going to change that! thanks
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#7 of 12 Old 02-19-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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I thought all the oe's we were experiencing were just normal because I have most of them myself and when I've mentioned anything to friends, they all say, "Oh yeah, that's common, my dc blah blah blah..."; but then I witness what they term sensitivities, and realise that we are using the same words to describe very different levels of sensitivity and experience.

This was one of the issues that endeared me to the parenting the gifted forum on MDC after ds1 was born. He has just begun at 6.5 yrs old to accept one pair of jeans; previously he wouldn't wear anything that he thought was scratchy or rough, like the softest jeans or cargo pants. He also will go from asking sweetly for me to cut a tag out to accusing me of not doing it, like deminc's dc.

Overall though, he has always been very sure of what he doesn't like and was speaking clearly in sentences at 10 months, and even before that he could tell me what he did and didn't like and we have not had many meltdowns as a result.

Ds2 was also very verbal very early, but he becomes overwhelmed by the sensations he's experiencing and instead of expressing his distress clearly in english, he will freak right out first, and then calm down to tell us what's wrong. He is superbly aware of the needs and sensistivities of others, but not so much himself.

All of my dc are years in advance of their age peers presently and they all have OEs of various sorts and to varying degrees. I think that sensitivity is one of the mechanisms of their awareness, so I do think at least in the cases of my dc, that the two are intertwined.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#8 of 12 Old 02-20-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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My 10 year old son can throw a tantrum over clothes that aggravate him. There is only one kind of pants he would wear, and he cannot stand anything that is the least bit scratchy...Jeans are totally out of question here; no tags stay on ever too.
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#9 of 12 Old 02-20-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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This suggestion may have no place in your home but we've recently discovered some food intolerences in dd that exacerbate behavior issues like fits associated with tags in clothes, etc.
Either way, s and GL.
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#10 of 12 Old 02-20-2010, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Casha'sMommy View Post
This suggestion may have no place in your home but we've recently discovered some food intolerences in dd that exacerbate behavior issues like fits associated with tags in clothes, etc.
Either way, s and GL.
You know I had considered this, but I have no clue how to start to figure it out. She is such a picky eater, half the time I'm lucky just to get her to eat 3 bits of her dinner.
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#11 of 12 Old 02-21-2010, 02:23 AM
 
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My ds1 is very sensitive, too. He only wears "soft pants" to school, though he will tolerate jeans at home sometimes. Although at home he prefers shorts, even if it is -40 outside.

I find that he melts down more around any kind of real or perceived uncertainty. He also has more trouble in the winter, as he doesn't get outside to work out some of the tension that builds up from his sensitivities. Can you get her outside, or get her more sensory imput -- baths, playdoh, music playing , drawing -- that sort of thing? That sometimes helps my ds1 a lot.

I don't know how old your dd is, but we had huge meltdowns for about a month around Christmas, and then I discovered that all of his 6 yr molars had come in . . . he used to get melt downs related to food sensitivities too, before we caught them.

Its funny, because I used to get so frustrated about ds1's sensitivities to tags and clothes, and then my parents sent me a bunch of photos from when I was a kid. And dh was teasing me because I kept commenting about what the clothes I was wearing in the photos felt like --weather they were comfortable or scratchy or too hot -- some 30 years later. I didn't wear jeans until I was 15.

Jill , mom to Andrew (09/04), Aaron(01/07), and Emma (11/09)
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#12 of 12 Old 02-21-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by out#edbyJs View Post
You know I had considered this, but I have no clue how to start to figure it out. She is such a picky eater, half the time I'm lucky just to get her to eat 3 bits of her dinner.
I wasn't very specific when I posted the other day.
Our new lo seems to have food sensitivities/allergies so in researching this we discovered some signs and symptoms that sounded like dd. When I researched further we decided to remove gluten for the time being. That has made a world of a difference. I don't have the daily freak outs that always, always, always began right around 5pm. Once the gluten was out of her system the freak outs stopped. Don't get me wrong dd still acts like an intense 3.5yo but she's more typical now.
ds is waking up.
I'll come back again later.
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