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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The only reason I even know of this is because a psych recommended a book to me when I was in high school about HSP because I am HSP. I am noticing it a lot with my older son too. He's very sensitive to changes, lights, noises (which is strange considering he is barely at a 'normal' hearing level) and is very deeply affected by moods of others and I could go on and on. Just curious if anyone else has a child that is likely HSP and gifted.
 

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Yes, my older dd is highly sensitive and gifted as am I. I believe that I have read the book to which you refer as well <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.
 

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Oh yes. My 5 year old son is highly sensitive. I have a thread subscription to the Highly Sensitive tribe. And I have Elaine Aron's book on highly sensitive children.<br><br>
He's always been sensitive to noise, sensation and stuff like that, although it's gotten so much better as he's grown. He still walks out of the room if something on Dragon Tales upsets him; he's very sensitive to violence or scary themes. His threshhold for "scary" is much lower than most. He's a devout vegetarian because he's concerned about the animals' pain. The other day when death somehow came up in conversation, he said, "Do you think there are dolphins dying *right now*?" And then he looked like he might cry.<br><br>
It's tough! But it's part of what makes him special, I think.<br><br>
When I took the online quiz on Elaine Aron's site, I came up as highly sensitive too. My youngest is sensitive but I don't think he's highly sensitive. The lack of that particular intensity in ds2 has made it much easier to parent through the toddler and preschool years.
 

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DS (5.5) is highly sensitive. I'm sensitive, but not in the same ways or intensity that ds is sensitive. I was thinking that dd wasn't as sensitive, but I now I believe she has benefitted from some of the accomodations that I've made with ds and that's helping her, too.<br><br>
Honestly, it's taken me some time to adjust to having a senstive child. I think it was because I'm an adult who has learned to make adjustments (or avoidance!) to events that push those buttons and I forgot how it felt to be a child who was overwhelmed.<br><br>
I've learned to celebrate the lows. For example, hearing him cry when he is sad is no longer as disturbing because I understand that he feels very deeply and it's his way of working through his sadness. I can sit down next to him, put my arm around him and validate his feelings. I no longer feel the need to "fix" it for him. I can, however, prepare him for new experiences by talking to him about how he thinks he might feel and what things he can do if he finds himself in an overwhelming situation. Transitions are so much better now!<br><br>
The best thing about recognizing a highly sensitive child, IMHO, is the awareness that sensitivity isn't about being immature, but rather a different way of experiencing the world.<br><br>
I'm still struggling with determining what the difference is between introversion and being highly sensitive. I see so many overlaps that I'm a little confused. Are they similar, completely different, or ???
 

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Introversion and high sensitivity are not the same thing. I believe that the book, The Highly Sensitive Person, has a whole chapter devoted to the difference. Dd#1 is an introvert and a HSP, but I am an extravert and a HSP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow I didn't realize there was a tribe! I shall join <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> He's only 2 and we've adjusted a lot... especially in relation to noise and lights. Becuase I'm HSP I don't think it's as difficult for me to understand, but it certainly isn't easy for my husband to understand. I have yet to read The Highly Sensitive Child but I really should pick up a copy.
 

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When my DD was a toddler, my sister told me I should read The Highly Sensitive Person, because DD was one. I'm not sure she is, actually - I think I'm sort of medium-sensitive, and she seems similar. But reading the book made me realize that DP is definitely HS.<br><br>
Being highly sensitive doesn't seem at all the same thing as being introverted to me. If you're an introvert, it just means you need time alone to recharge and feel the most like yourself. And I guess now that I think about it I can see the possible connection to being highly sensitive. A HS person might need regular time alone because, due to his sensitivities, being around other people, in crowds, etc. is so overwhelming. So you might assume that introversion is always just a reaction to overstimulation around other people. But I don't think that's the case. I'm definitely an introvert, but I'm not all that highly sensitive. I don't much mind being in crowded, noisy places. I don't freak out if too much is going on at once. I often actually enjoy some bustle and chaos. But when I'm alone, I can really <i>think</i>. I think mostly I love being alone because being alone is great, not because being around other people is too much for me.
 

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I think my ds (3 yo) is highly sensitive (as am I). The main challenges for us are his extreme resistance to change/transition (getting out of the house to go anywhere takes <i>forever</i>) and the difficulty he has with positive or happy emotions. He gets embarrassed easily--for example, when something fun happens, he'll act excited at first, and then he screams "no" and turns around. If I ask him if he'd like to do it again, he'll usually say "no" even though he enjoyed it. I knew he was sensitive to scary things, but it took me forever to realize that he also doesn't handle happy emotions very well. Is this common for others of you with HSC?<br><br>
Ds is especially sensitive to anger, too. He's always commenting on whether someone or something is angry or happy (he wanted to make sure the little dog we saw yesterday wasn't angry). I have to be very careful with what he hears and watches. Dh doesn't really get it, which makes it tough some times b/c he'll say stuff that I know will bother or scare ds.
 

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I've got two of them! I definitely recommend the book The Highly Sensitive Child. I liked it better than the Highly Sensitive Person.<br><br>
My kids are sensitive in different ways. Ds is on the 'pathological side' of highly sensitive, namely has sensory processing issues, while dd is on the 'typical side'. Dd is incredibly emotionally sensitive, sensitive to taste and texture and noise. Ds is incredibly sensitive to movement, texture and noise.<br><br>
Ds is an introvert, dd is not. So, they don't always go together. But a highly sensitive extrovert does need more 'recuperation time' than a non-sensitive one, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is taste part of HSP??? It'd make sense, but I don't remember reading that... but it would explain tons about DS if that is the case. Eating is a strange adventure in this house- food texture is a HUGE issue but I never related it to HSP at all
 

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Well, my 6.5 year old son is highly sensitive in almost all respects. He is emotionally sensitive, as well as very sensitive to physical stimuli of many types. However, he is an extreme extrovert who needs to be surrounded by (and speaking to) other people at ALL times! So, I can say with certainty that introversion and sensitivity do not always come together, though perhaps it is more common.
 

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My ds is very sensitive to certain things as well. He's not so much sensitive to light, somewhat sensitive to noise, but he is very sensitive to other people's feelings. He gets very caught up in the moment of what is going on. Cries to express extreme happiness, or like of something, where other kids might just say yeah I liked that.<br>
Beth
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ChristaN</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7310244"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Introversion and high sensitivity are not the same thing. I believe that the book, The Highly Sensitive Person, has a whole chapter devoted to the difference. Dd#1 is an introvert and a HSP, but I am an extravert and a HSP.</div>
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My husband, my two kids and I are all introverts. My husband is not highly sensitive. He needs time to recharge, which he usually fills by reading. But things don't move him or bother him as much as they do me. My youngest son might not be highly sensitive. It's hard to tell at his age, although with my oldest, it was clear from age 1 that he was highly sensitive. Anyway, my little one gets really overwhelmed by crowds of people and he gets drained quickly. But he doesn't get visually disturbed very often like my oldest. My oldest was very disturbed by a Mayan-themed mural in our local Mexican restaurant and we couldn't eat there for about a year! And like, when we go to the art museum, my oldest must avoid the skull painting, even though he loves skulls; he doesn't like the look of it. There once was an abstract sculpture there of a tree with eyes and hands and even at age 3, he was so highly disturbed by it that we had to avoid that whole floor for a year. My youngest, OTOH, loves the art but nothing really bothers him or deeply moves him. He's very observant and reflective but the details of things seem to move or bother my oldest more.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LeftField</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7315875"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My oldest was very disturbed by a Mayan-themed mural in our local Mexican restaurant and we couldn't eat there for about a year! And like, when we go to the art museum, my oldest must avoid the skull painting, even though he loves skulls; he doesn't like the look of it. There once was an abstract sculpture there of a tree with eyes and hands and even at age 3, he was so highly disturbed by it that we had to avoid that whole floor for a year. My youngest, OTOH, loves the art but nothing really bothers him or deeply moves him. He's very observant and reflective but the details of things seem to move or bother my oldest more.</div>
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I could have written this post about my youngest and oldest, also. My oldest (ds) has had to avoid entire museums because of various exhibits that freaked him out. We had a mummy incident (it was a mummified elephant) like your skull experience!
 

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I cannot help be think that many of the HSP circumstances could be more of a case of Sensory Integration Dysfunction. I would highly suggest "The Out-of-Sync Child" by Carol Kranowitz, M.A.<br><br>
The sensitive behaviors can be a message to us as parents, and one we understand the underlying causes then we can help, whethere inherited or not.<br><br>
Our kids are worth it to check it out! Food for thought.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>teachma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7315992"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I could have written this post about my youngest and oldest, also. My oldest (ds) has had to avoid entire museums because of various exhibits that freaked him out. We had a mummy incident (it was a mummified elephant) like your skull experience!</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Sometimes, it just seems to defy logic, doesn't it? My oldest loves skulls, skeletons, and things of that nature. But if one just strikes him the wrong way visually, he gets very disturbed by it. We had a cartoonish anatomy book that we had to hide in the study because if any part of the cover was visible, he wouldn't go in that room. But the more realistic looking anatomy book appealed to him. He enjoyed looking at an actual human brain in a jar and a preserved human kidney splice in the museum. But he will not open a human body puzzle that he got a year ago and he will hide from the first five minutes of the Magic School Bus, because he's afraid of the cartoon skeleton in the room (it does a different animated action each episode). I've tried to pinpoint what exactly bothers him about some but not others, but I'm not sure if he even knows. And in some cases, I believe he's remembering being disturbed by it a year or two ago and he's having a hard time letting go of the memory of being disturbed.<br><br>
Mummies would upset him too, although he is fascinated by similar things. Last year, I bought him the Magic Treehouse book about Egypt and we had to hide it because the sarcophagus on the front upset him. The general idea upset him.<br><br>
I don't understand it at times.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>shelbel2121</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7318368"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I cannot help be think that many of the HSP circumstances could be more of a case of Sensory Integration Dysfunction. I would highly suggest "The Out-of-Sync Child" by Carol Kranowitz, M.A.<br><br>
The sensitive behaviors can be a message to us as parents, and one we understand the underlying causes then we can help, whethere inherited or not.<br><br>
Our kids are worth it to check it out! Food for thought.</div>
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I've heard great things about that book and I keep meaning to get it. Some of my son's sensitivities are along that spectrum, although he's outgrowing them in many ways. Like, he would never get his hands dirty as a toddler but he loves that now. He's sensitive to noise, for example. Some things are definitely SID-like.<br><br>
But other things are along the lines of emotional sensitivity. Like, his feelings about people eating animals (and animals eating animals) are pretty strong and vocal.<br><br>
I should reserve that book at the library now, while I'm thinking about it.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>shelbel2121</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7318368"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I cannot help be think that many of the HSP circumstances could be more of a case of Sensory Integration Dysfunction. I would highly suggest "The Out-of-Sync Child" by Carol Kranowitz, M.A.<br><br>
The sensitive behaviors can be a message to us as parents, and one we understand the underlying causes then we can help, whethere inherited or not.<br><br>
Our kids are worth it to check it out! Food for thought.</div>
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A good thought -- but since I've got one kid with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (generally called Sensory Processing Disorder now, by the way) and one without, I do believe that there IS a verion of highly sensitive that is simply more sensitive.<br><br>
The difference: The Zoo Lights Train. (bear with me, it's relevant.) Our local Zoo does Zoo lights for the month of December -- they put up lights everywhere, build displays out of lights etc. Our zoo also has a train (real train, just smaller) that you can ride. Riding it during zoo lights is cool because they build animal displays along the tracks that you can't see from the paths. And it's fun.<br><br>
So, when ds was 2, we went to Zoo lights. When our turn to get on the train came, ds FREAKED OUT because of the noise of the train whistle that they tooted when the train started. He cried hysterically the ENTIRE trip and took a good 10 minutes to calm down afterwards (alas, his freak-out started just as the train was starting and we couldn't get off, or we would have). Once he went off the deep end, he could NOT get used to the noise or the movement and could not calm down.<br><br>
This year dd was 2, went went to the Zoo lights again. Ds wanted to ride the train (thanks to 3 years of development and 8 months of OT to treat his sensory processing dysfunction). Dd was OK until we got near the train. Then she began to get worried about the noise. When we got on, she started to cry. She freaked out a bit. BUT, but the middle of the train ride, she had calmed down enough to point out some of the lights. She was still nervous, still clingy, but she was taking in the sights in a way that ds never did at that age. SHE was able to regulate down again, whereas at the same age, ds was not.<br><br>
Dd is highly sensitive to touch (her socks have to be perfect), emotions, taste and scary stuff. We drove past a dancing skeleton at a garage sale near Halloween that freaked her out to no end. She is very scared of things with human-like faces that aren't human (skulls, skeletons, characters in costumes). But, she's not pathological in the same way her brother is. She CAN get used to stimuli.<br><br>
A long way to saying that I recommend the Out of Sync Child to almost everyone I know with a sensitive child. Sensational Kids is another good one. But, not every sensitive child has a sensory problem.<br><br>
OK back to work, I've procrastinated enough already.
 
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