The Highly Sensitive Child
Approximately 20% of the population is made up of highly sensitive people (HSP’s), (most people in helping professions are included in that percentage). Those who fall into this category are much more acutely aware and are highly sensitive to: textures, sounds, bright lights, attitudes, moods, inflections, emotions, changes, and are gifted in their ability to focus on the smallest details.
For children, however, being highly sensitive in an environment (especially school) where 80% of the other children are of the not-so-sensitive type, can contribute to the mistaken belief that there is something wrong with them. Left unaddressed, it can lead to social isolation, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
Parents can help alleviate this concern by picking up on this tendency early in their child’s life. By encouraging any attempts by the child to express themselves as an individual: verbally, creatively, or by demonstrating unique areas of interest. These children need a little more help in accepting themselves and perceiving their sensitivity in a positive light, instead of as one of abnormality.
The Troubled Child
Whether anxious, sullen, depressed, angry, explosive or withdrawn, a troubled child is a very hurting child. This is a child that is crying out for someone to see that they are in pain. It is never too soon to seek help. The longer a child is allowed to be in this state, the more they will withdraw into their own world and the more difficult it will be to reach them.
I have found that by meeting alone with children and just listening to them, I can often discover what is troubling them. I work together with the parents and teachers (if needed) to help attend to the cause and eliminate the troubling behaviors. I want children to know they are valued and that what they have to say, that their opinions and feelings matter. My goal is to help the child feel better about him or herself and to clear up any misunderstandings within the family.
The Anxious/Fearful Child
This is a child under a great deal of stress who is not feeling very secure. When children are in this state their thoughts are irrational. Parents often make the mistake of trying to rationalize with these children and then the parents become frustrated when their child doesn’t get it. However, this only adds to the child’s anxiety and feelings of being alone and misunderstood. This is a child that needs to be seen by a professional to get to the heart of what is bothering them.
I know what it feels like to be a frightened child who is overwhelmed by the powerful anxious feelings inside, and the lack of comprehension as to what is happening. I will explain to the parents exactly what their child is dealing with. I work with the parents and the child in how to overcome the stressors. I also assist the parents in learning to use various new skills to aid their child in feeling secure, comforted and on the right path for their particular age group.
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(Northwest corner of 12th St. and Missouri Ave.)
Tel: (602) 471-1249
Fax: (602) 246-9580