High Sensitivity Adolescents
What is a highly sensitive adolescent?
A highly sensitive adolescent or highly sensitive person (HSP) processes information very deeply. High sensitivity processing is a genetic trait which is shared by 20-30% of the general population, and in most classrooms around 20% of children are HSP’s. High sensitivity affects all sensory input, both physically and emotionally.
HSP’s are gifted in many aspects.
On a general physical front, an HSP may feel highly discomforted by:
If you think your adolescent may be an HSP, they can take a test at Dr Aron’s website.
Adolescence - a turbulent period of multidimensional growth
Adolescence is a transitional period from childhood to adulthood, where young people take on the challenges of discovering their own interests, hobbies, sexuality, earning and managing money, facing the temptations of drugs and alcohol, partying meanwhile planning out the first steps of a career or higher education.
HSP’s need to feel thoroughly understood, supported and free to slow down this transition from innocent care-free child to launching into a young adult with responsibilities, all the while going through remarkable physical changes.
If they are struggling, HSP’s tend to manifest this in quieter ways. If they do not understand their differences from the majority of adolescents, and how to manage their changes in a healthy and individualised way, they might be more vulnerable to dwell into a pitfall. They may have a greater reluctance to go partying, date or a constant worry about what kind of career they will be able to manage.
How can you help your highly sensitive adolescent?
Watch for indications of anxious or low moods – irritability being an important one.