Weekly Wellness Update
Week of May 4-8
Sense and Sensitivity: Understanding the Sensitive Child
Sensitive kids are everywhere. Their numbers are estimated to be between 15 to 20% of children in a North American context, but they are often misunderstood or not recognized as being sensitive. What does it mean when we say a child is “sensitive” and how would you know if your child is among them?
To make sense of sensitivity, it is easier to start with understanding what it is not. It is often confused with a child who has strong emotional reactions or whose feelings seem to get more easily hurt. Sometimes it is confused with a child who seems to be more considerate of other’s needs or who is gentle or kind. While children with sensitivity may display some of these characteristics, these are not typical of all sensitive kids, nor do they help us understand what is at the root of their different way of being in the world.
Sensitive kids are defined as those who have an enhanced receptivity to the world through their senses. It could be through any sense—touch, taste, smell, sight, or hearing—and it is unique to each child. It also exists on a continuum, with some kids being more impacted by touch and smell while others may be affected visually or through another sense.