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The Highly Sensitive Child

May 31, 2018


Is Your Child  Highly Sensitive? 

These are a few characteristics that Elaine Aron a research psychologist has used to describe the highly sensitive child (2002). 




  • Startles easily

  • Learns better from gentle correction than strong punishment.

  • Able to pick up on little details in the environment.

  • Maybe perceived as "shy".

  • Creative.

  • Tends to be a perfectionist.

  • Tends to be hard on themselves or internalizes a lot.

  • May get overwhelmed easily.

Aron states that the highly sensitive child is found in 20% of the population and is found in girls and boys. (2002).  Although there has been a lot of research on this innate trait there remains a lot of misunderstandings of what this trait entails.


Please let me tell you what being a highly sensitive child is not


  • A disorder.

  • A deficit.

  • Something to be fixed.

  • A weakness.

  • Introversion.


One of the greatest variables which impacts a highly sensitive child's success to learn how to manage their emotions, sensory input, and thoughts comes through the environment they are influenced by (socially, support system, and in school). If your child is highly sensitive he/she may need extra support because their inner world can be complex and they may have big emotions and experiences. Understanding our emotions and thoughts takes appropriate developmental tools and practice. A highly sensitive child may need specific attention regarding how they process and perceive the world so that they can thrive in their world. 


If you are not sure if your child is highly sensitive, I encourage you and your child to take Elaine Aron's test:

(This test is not a diagnostic tool but can be used to help to start a conversation and to gain some understanding of the trait).



1.Aron, E. (2002). The Highly Sensitive Child. Broadway, New York: Broadway Books.


If you interested in learning more please contact Sharon Chan LMFT 626-656-3158. Sharon is located  in Orange County. Sharon provides teen, individual, and children therapy.




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