Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Navigating turbulent waters


Published on

Presentation on Highly Sensitive and Emotionally Intense Kids presented at the Parent Connection Conference in Virginia Beach Schools on January 28, 2012

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Navigating turbulent waters

  1. 1. Navigating the Sometimes TurbulentWaters of Highly Sensitive andEmotionally Intense KidsKim Bielmannn CabotajeInternal LuminosityJanuary 28, 2012
  2. 2. How did you find your way here?What need, curiosity or quandary has brought you to this place right now?
  3. 3. “Gifted individuals have qualities to be managed, notproblems to be fixed.”~Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, Psy.D
  4. 4. At the End of Our Time Together, I Hope You Will: Know how to recognize behaviors of emotional intensity and sensitivity Understand that these characteristics are normal and can be very desirable Be able to implement some strategies that will help your child
  5. 5. Photo Kim Bielmann Cabotaje, 2011 “Being gifted means having aqualitatively different experience of the world.” ~Michael Piechowski, Ph.D.
  6. 6. Kazimierz Dabrowski Theory of Positive Disintegrationfrom a self-centered focus andtoward altruism and moral development though higher intelligence is not essential, innate ability with overexcitability makes it more likely
  7. 7. Overexcitabilities:innate tendencies that manifestin a heightened reaction tostimuli.
  8. 8. PSYCHOMOTOR IntensityRestlessnessDrivenessMovement Photo Kim Bielmann Cabotaje, 2011Compulsive talkImpulsive actionEnthusiasm
  9. 9. INTELLECTUAL Intensity Need to understand Search for the TruthTendency toward analysisRequire logic and fairness Voracious reader
  10. 10. IMAGINATIONAL Intensity Rich imagination Use of imagery and metaphor Blur lines between fact and fiction Vivid dreams Daydream
  11. 11. SENSUAL IntensityHeightened sensoryexperiencesDeep pleasure frommusic, language, artand foodDeep capacity forempathyEasily overstimulated Photo Kim Bielmann Cabotaje, 2011
  12. 12. EMOTIONAL Intensity Intense positive and negative feelings Deeply committed relationships Large capacity for compassion EmpathicPerceived as melodramatic
  13. 13. Too driven Too demanding Too analToo cautious Too sensitive Too seriousToo analytical Too complicated Too dramaticToo different Too, too much!
  14. 14. Plus Minus Interesting
  15. 15. The Highly Sensitive Child• 15-20% of children• Inherited trait of a more developed central nervous system—reach overstimulation sooner• Depending on parenting, school and life experiences, can lead to challenges like anxiety and fear• Studied in infants and children for over 50 years as shyness, introversion and inhibitedness• 70% are introverts and 30% extraverts• Pause to check system greater than “go-for-it” system• Though one need not be gifted to be highly sensitive, a significant number of sensitive individuals are also very intelligent Adapted from The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.
  16. 16. The Emotionally Intense Child• Vacillates between extreme happiness and anger or sadness• May have explosive outbursts, bouts of crying or debilitating anxiety• Extreme guilt, critical self-talk and self-doubt• Physical manifestations may include heart palpitations, sensory sensitivity, nausea and headaches• Strong affective memory—ability to relive feelings of an event throughout lifetime• Intense relationships• Can be overwhelmed by rigid classroom expectations and sensory overload of the school experience Adapted from Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings by Christine Fonseca
  17. 17. What’s Great about Parenting aSensitive or Emotionally Intense Child?
  18. 18. The Joys of Raising Highly Sensitive and Emotionally Intense Children• Able to connect deeply with others• Capable of deep feeling and thought• Notice, experience and appreciate beauty in others and the world• Empathize with the plight of others• Raise your awareness of the world around you and cause you to ponder questions you had not previously considered• Have the passion to create a fulfilling life• When supported, have the potential to make great contributions in the areas of law, invention, healing, history, art science, education, counseling and spiritual leadership—the consultants to the warriors and rulers Adapted from Aron and Fonseca
  19. 19. Telling your child to lighten up or toughen up, calling her a drama queen, proclaiming that boys don’t cry, feeding into the meltdown, excusing negative behavior, issuing strong disciplinary action and failing to recognize your ownpotential overexcitabilities does not work!
  20. 20. “Gifted students areinherently different from their peers on many fronts. Learning how to effectively live as a high ability student can require strategies and social skill development.” ~Tracy Cross
  21. 21. Help Your child Manage These characteristics• Learn everything you can about sensitivity and emotional intensity• Let your child know that you understand and accept his experiences and needs• Help your child to understand how others may experience things differently• Make sure your child eats a healthy diet without excess carbs and sugar and gets plenty of sleep• Help your child to recognize when he needs to pull in and recharge and when he can step out in the world• Provide opportunities for your child to take safe risks and build confidence Adapted from Aron and Fonseca
  22. 22. • Strive to create comfortable transitions during times of change• Try to provide structure and routine to reduce stress in your home• Create a household that has clear boundaries, expectations and consequences for behaviors• Understand the impact of shame• Punishment should not be excessive—consequences should be short, mild and related to the behavior• Consequences should be positive, not punitive—rather than take things away, give the opportunity to earn or not earn• Avoid meltdowns by teaching relaxation and recognizing the signs• Following a meltdown, take time later when everyone is calm to discuss what has happened • Adapted from Aron and Fonseca
  23. 23. • Consider the interaction of your own personality with your child’s might help or hinder her• Help your child set reasonable goals and support them in working towards them in manageable chunks• Don’t allow your child to use their characteristics to manipulate others• Consider using bibliotherapy to help your child find characters to relate to and learn from (e.g. A Wrinkle in Time)• When working with teachers, focus on the child’s strengths first, identify areas of concern and create a plan that is consistent between home and school, has measurable goals and is simple• Celebrate with your child everything wonderful about being sensitive and intense! • Adapted from Aron and Fonseca
  24. 24. Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults by James Webb, et. al. There is an epidemic ofmisdiagnosis of the gifted basedon common characteristics being mistaken for one or more disorders.
  25. 25. What one thing can you take away today that you will try to implement immediately?What questions do you still have?
  26. 26. Only the Beginning: Additional Resources to Help You• Anxiety-Free Kids: An Interactive Guide for Parets and Children by Bonnie Zucker (Prufrock Press, 2009)• Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings by Christine Fonseca (Prufrock Press, 2011)• Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults by James Webb, Ph.D., et. al. (Great Potential Press, 2005)• Selecting a Mental Health Professional for Your Gifted Child al.pdf• Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills: Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare (Guilford Press, 2009)• The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. (Broadway Books, 2002)• What to Do When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough: The Real Deal on Perfectionism: A Guide for Kids by Thomas S. Greenspon (Free Spirit, 2007).
  27. 27. Internal LuminosityYour companion on paths lesstravelled