Thursday, September 30, 2010

[JessFinds] The Highly Sensitive Child

My eldest, Miss Crab, is a pretty typical Highly Sensitive Child (HSC). She has been my little puzzle from the day she was born. I have always described her like an exposed nerve. Everything is bigger, brighter, louder and stranger than it is to the rest of us. Add the redhead gene, and it means she feels pain stronger than any of us too. So not fair. On the other hand, she is delightful. Intuitive, gentle and smart as a whip.

She was the most colicky baby any of my friends or family had ever encountered.  I remember reading the definition of colic at the time (unexplained crying for more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week) and lasting up to 3 months of age. I laughed. Try 12 hours a day, every day until age 18 months. I nearly lost my mind!

The 5(+) years of night terrors have subsided. We lived through it. The sleep studies were nightmares in themselves and the "lead doctor in the field" said she had only seen a dozen kids with Miss Crab's extremity. They recommended putting my 4 year old on benzos (xanex, klonopin). do I say this nicely? NO. If you are a parent dealing with night terrors, I give you a big blog hug. Send me a message.

Preschool was okay. She made friends and quirky kids are pretty normal in preschool.

Kindergarten. Sigh. The transition from preschool to kindergarten has highlighted a lot of problems that are going to require intervention. We have Miss Crab with a very nice psychologist who has come up with a few new ideas but who I pretty much view as my portal to getting help from other professionals.

We are in year II of Montessori Kindergarten and I was just told that there are "issues" that need addressing. My husband and I will be meeting with her teachers to talk about what is going on. I feel constantly on the defensive about my daughter. I know how well she functions and it makes me sad that she does not function well in a traditional school setting (or even at times in her Montessori school setting).

Miss Crab does not want to draw attention to herself at all, but many of her protective mechanisms - unfortunately - draw attention. She draws up her shoulders, brings her arms in tight to her side, puts her hands up high on her chest in a "begging" position. We call this her "T-Rex." She does this when nervous or stressed.

Age six has been good in many ways. She is able to use her coping mechanisms and she can verbalize a lot of her anxiety. She is becoming this amazing kid - game to try out new things, great sense of humor, very caring. In some ways, she is perfection. I could not imagine her being anything but the way she is. I just wish I could make her path easier, because lots of people are going to find her problematic and try to put her in boxes.

I have complied a list of fantastic books that have helped us in our journey.

The above book is amazing - I had no idea that there were other kids out there like my daughter!

Yahoo Groups has a great board for parents with HSC's. I cannot say enough good things about this group. SO supportive.  It is called HSCBook.


Hanna said...

Hi There!! I am your newest follower from the Thursday blog hop!! Lovely blog:) You can find me at

Noel said...

I understand this on soooo many levels. Our daughter has Asperger Syndrome and some of the things mentioned are comorbid with Asperger Syndrome. Hope is 10 now, we got her diagnosis when she was 8. Public school was very difficult for her so she is currently being home schooled. Sounds like you are doing a great job. I am over from New Mommy Blogs to show my support and follow you. Come follow me at