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What is hypersensitivity?

Nagu nimigi ütleb hypersensitivity means higher than average sensitivity, exacerbated. In psychology, this notion was clarified in 1996 by the American clinical psychologist Elaine Aron. In English, it speaks rather of “väga tundlik inimene”, In other words a highly sensitive or highly sensitive person, to designate individuals with higher sensitivity than the norm. These terms are considered less pejorative than the term “supersensitive”, And therefore preferred by psychologists specializing in the subject.

According to the latest research on hypersensitivity, this characteristic concerns 15 to 20% of the population worldwide. And of course, children are no exception.

Characteristics: how to diagnose hypersensitivity in children?


Hypersensitivity, also called high sensitivity or ultrasensitivity, results in the following characteristics:

  • a rich and complex inner life, an important imagination;
  • being deeply moved by the arts (a painting, music, etc.);
  • becoming clumsy when observed;
  • being easily overwhelmed or overwhelmed by emotions, changes, excessive stimuli (light, sounds, crowd, etc.);
  • having difficulty multitasking or making a choice;
  • a great ability to listen to others, to grasp the subtleties of a situation or a person.

Having a sensitive child: how is hypersensitivity manifested in children and babies?


As there are several families of hypersensitivity in children, it can take different aspects. A highly sensitive child may, for example be very withdrawn, introverted, or on the contrary very demonstrative about his emotions. In other words, there are almost as many hypersensitivities as there are hypersensitive ones.

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However, child hypersensitivity psychologists have successfully identified certain behaviors and character traits in hypersensitive children to help make the “diagnosis”.

In his work “My child is highly sensitive“, Dr. Elaine Aron lists 17 statements, to which parents suspecting hypersensitivity in their child must respond”something true"Või"faux".

A hypersensitive child will therefore tend to jump easily, to not appreciate big surprises, to have a sense of humor and a vocabulary that is fine enough for his age, to have a intuitsioon quite developed, to be ask a lot of questions, to have trouble making a choice quickly, to have need quiet times, to notice the physical or emotional suffering of another person, to be more successful at a task when no strangers are present, to be very sensitive to pain, to take things very seriously or to be bothered by noisy and / or busy places, very bright.

If you recognize your child in all these statements, it’s a safe bet that he is hypersensitive. But, according to Dr. Aron, it may be that only one or two statements apply to a child but are very meaningful, and that child is highly sensitive.

In a baby, hypersensitivity will be mainly visible by its reaction to noise, light, parental anxiety, tissues on its skin or the temperature of the bath.

How to support, calm and accompany a hypersensitive child to manage his emotions?


First of all, it is crucial to remember, as the psychoanalyst Saverio Tomasella indicates in his book “ I help my hypersensitive child to thrive “, that “ultrasensitivity is constitutive in toddlers”. It concerns all infants and all children up to 7 years of age or more, as it becomes existential, or “reaktsioon” after.

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Rather than berating a hypersensitive child, or inviting them to cover up this high sensitivity, which will only further isolate them, it is strongly recommended to help the child to tame and master this peculiarity.

For example, we can:

  • invite the child to describe his emotions with words or playful games,
  • respect his need quiet time after a noisy activity or in a group, in him avoiding unnecessary overstimulation (example: shopping after a long day at school …),
  • talk about their emotional sensitivity and hypersensitivity through laudatory rather than negative terms, reminding him the qualities of this trait (for example his sense of detail and observation),
  • explain to him that he can turn this feature into a strength,
  • help him identify his emotional breaking point and talk about it to avoid it in the future,
  • help him face the changes with as much serenity as possible …

On the other hand, it is not recommended to compare a hypersensitive child with another who is not, for example in the same siblings, and this even if it is a teasing, because this comparison does not take place. be and could be very badly experienced by the child.


In short, the watchword for the education of a hypersensitive child is undoubtedly the headus. Positive education and the Montessori philosophy are of great help to the ultra-sensitive child.


  • My child is highly sensitive, by Elaine Aron, to be released 26/02/19;
  • I help my hypersensitive child to thrive, by Saverio Tomasella, published in February 2018

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