Although most of what you will find on our website is comedy, we will also be including info on how to cope as well as how to help your child face the world as a sensitive child. Through our own research, Stephanie and I learned that approximately twenty percent of all children can be classified as “sensitive.”
The reaction to this hyper-sensitivity is generally the reason for displays of anxiety or acting out. This does not mean there’s anything wrong with the child. He doesn’t necessarily have ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome as so many doctors commonly misdiagnose. Usually, they are just overwhelmed and/or over-stimulated by their environment due to their hyper-sensitivity.
The best way to help your sensitive child is to allow him to experience his feelings.
Practice some of the tips below and see if they make a difference. If your sensitive child is properly nurtured, you could wind up with the next Steven Spielberg or Annie Lebovitz. And they can afford the best nursing homes for their parents when they get old.
First in this series is how to help the child if he or she is having difficulty in the classroom:
Decrease Sensory Assault in the Learning Environment
- Reduce visual clutter on the walls and tabletops.
- Help the child maintain a well-organized work space.
- Reduce external, background noise as much as possible. Play soft music in the background of the classroom during independent work activities.
- Create a “chill-out zone,” or sensory shelter, where kids can go if they need to retreat from the hustle-bustle of the classroom. This should be a quiet, darkened space: a tent, a refrigerator box, a screened-in corner of the classroom, or a blanketed underside of a table. You may provide pillows and/or soft music to make the space cozy and calming.
- Provide bean bag chairs, “move-n-sit” cushions (available from occupational therapy suppliers) and/or a rocking chair for the child who needs to move in order to organize himself.
If your school does not allow you into the classroom to employ these techniques, then it’s best to find a school that does. (Public school seemed better than private in our case.)
Oh, and check out books on sensory sensitivity such as The Sensory Sensitive Child by Karen A. Smith and Karen R. Gouze.