If you’re a parent and you’ve arrived on this page, there’s a good chance you came here by accident; because that seems to be how most people, by and large, find out about high sensitivity. Indeed, it’s how I found out about it.
Struggling to manage my daughter’s behaviour, which didn’t seem to mirror that of friends’ children, someone handed me a copy of Dr Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Child (HSC). It was a dog eared book, with a mug stain on the cover, which had clearly been passed from distressed parent to distressed parent. Finally it reached this distressed parent. The book completely changed my understanding of (and relationship with) my daughter in the most positive way possible.
Now, I look to raise awareness of high sensitivity and to help parents who may only just be discovering they have their own HSC. I’m always happy to receive questions or correspondence.
But odds are that if you are here you either already have a grasp of what high sensitivity is or want to know if your child is one of the astonishing 1 in 5 youngsters who are considered a highly sensitive child. If you’d like to find out, there’s a very effective and simple test which you can find out more about here and which can be completed in less than a minute and (if you don’t know about high sensitivity) also provides a succinct explanation.
I should, at this point, state that I’m not a trained professional working with children. I’m not a therapist. I’m just a father. However, as an affected parent, I had to quickly develop expertise in high sensitivity, having found myself in the position of having to educate many of the professionals who deal with my children – from teachers to doctors. Currently, nearly every teacher, doctor, nurse, counsellor etc I speak to relies on me, as a parent, to inform them about high sensitivity. The number of professionals throughout my daughter’s entire life who has heard of high sensitivity can be counted on two fingers. That is a dire situation that HAS to change, especially as the biggest cause of stress, anxiety and long-term suffering (including potential mental health problems) to HSCs are those that don’t know about high sensitivity.
High sensitivity impacts the lives of millions of children around the world, yet most people have never heard of it. That’s millions of children who are more likely to become shy, anxious or depressed, especially if they’re made to feel isolated because of feeling different. This is largely inevitable when those around them don’t understand that what they are feeling is very real. From the moment my daughter entered school she was made to feel different. Because of their emotional vulnerability, HSCs are sensitive to bullying, criticism and teasing – it’s a vicious cycle.
It’s why I wrote George the (Almost) Fearless Mouse (you can find out more about him here) and it’s why I created this site.