Working with Neurodivergent students for 20 years I have always known that many of them are highly sensitive, often with symptoms of sensory overload. Recently I came across the work of Dr. Elaine Aron, who has done much research into Highly Sensitive adults and children. Over the years parents have said to me that their children were sensitive but I am only just learning about all the research about this.
Being highly sensitive is a very interesting trait with a mixture of exceptional skills for sensitivity, kindness, compassion but at the same time can be overwhelmed and drained by other people’s energy, anxious in a crowd, not feeling themselves etc. 15-20% of the population are known to have characteristics of being highly sensitive. If you want to learn more about your own sensitivity, do consider taking a quiz, for example at https://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/. Dr. Aron has written several books on HSPs and done a collection of youtube videos. There is even a child’s test here https://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-child-test/ These are in no way diagnoses but in my mind questions to be curious about and often fit in with my approach to neurodiversity.
I am very interested in the overlap between high sensitivity and neurodiversity (I have both). In my opinion they are certainly not the same thing but I am really concerned about the amount of neurodiverse students who appear to have been highly sensitive from birth, which unrecognized has effected their whole development. Or could it be that some HSP students are misdiagnosed with neurodiversity?
These are all topics I plan to explore with my students and would love to hear from ex-students or new pupils, who would like a different perspective. My curiosity has enabled me to develop unique ways of looking at neurodiversity that has enabled students to focus on their strengths and how they can be better understood to mitigate challenges. I look forward to this further exploration.
My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
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You will find other useful information at http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
#empoweringlearning #mentalimagery #HSP #neurodivergent #sensoryoverload #elainearonn