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Characteristics of Highly Sensitive Children

Characteristics of “Highly Sensitive Children”

The sensitivities of psychic children, autistics, Aspergers, children w/ ADD,

indigo children, star children, crystals, and

other labels used to understand highly sensitive children.


Highly sensitive children may not have all these characteristics.  And they may have the characteristics to differing degrees.  Whether they are labeled ADD, autistic, or psychic, all require special parenting and supervision to enable them to function and succeed as adults.  They may (or may not) come into this world with advanced knowledge and abilities.  But, like any child, their childhood environment and experiences shape how these advanced gifts will develop and be used as adults.


1. Sensitive to noise, the taste of foods, smells/odors, certain colors or color combinations, or touch.

2.  Doesn’t like to be in crowds.  Needs downtime to process the times they are in large groups.  They may leave a room full of family members and withdraw to their room to be alone for a while.

3.  Quiet, shy, introverted, withdrawn.

4.  Self-absorbed and self-focused.  Can lead to narcissism in adulthood.

5.  Slow to connect with others.  Participates in group activities only after getting to know the other children, the environment, and the dynamics.

6.  Prefers to be alone or with 1 or 2 other introverted children.

7.  Above average ability in one or more areas even if not evident in schoolwork.  May be exceptionally intelligent.

8.  May have learning disabilities.

9.  May need more structure and instructions than is typically required for children to learn.

10.  Can’t spell.

11.  May experience audio-motor incoordination.

12.  Sees slowly—takes eyes longer to adjust to images

13.  Either excels at math or has math dyscalculia.

14.  Precocious—uses words and phrasing and complete sentences beyond age level; assumes an authority of an adult; asks thought provoking questions; introspective.

15.  May be perceived as a slow learner only because the child needs to understand the breath and depth of something first.

16.  Detailed oriented.

17.  Thinks outside the box putting together seemingly mutually exclusive “boxes” of knowledge (aka creative & innovative).

18.  Good memory, may have photographic memory.  Walking dictionary.

19.  Doesn’t like change.

20.  Skin sensitivity—clothes may itch, labels in clothes are uncomfortable, seams in socks are irritating, doesn’t like the beach because of the grittiness of sand.

21.  Reacts quickly to environmental toxins, including cleaning products as well as toxins in the air.  May have multiple chemical sensitivities.

22.  Doesn’t like to be around electrical equipment.  Light bulbs go off around them.

23.  Has more than normal static electricity in their bodies.  Often “shocks” when touches objects and people.

24.  Feels the emotions of others as if these emotions were their own; feels responsible for others’ emotions.  So child may seem to overreact.  Has a greater need to resolve emotional conflicts because of this sensitivity towards others’ emotions.

25.  Cries easily.

26.  Doesn’t like conflict.  Has a strong sense of justice and unfairness.  Wants to “right” wrongs.

27.  May have sense of global injustice but not have empathy for an individual.

28.  Doesn’t like to be over stimulated.  Can be easily overwhelmed.

29.  Doesn’t learn “social rules” as fast as other children.  Often so direct that they can be viewed as lacking in tact.

30.  Loses sense of time.

31.  Attractive, beautiful, good-looking.

32.  Low body temperature.

33.  Girls may have smaller head; boys may have larger head.

34.  Allergies and upper respiratory problems.

35.  Weakened immune system; prone to infections.

36.  Bedwetting beyond typical age.

37.  Sense of entitlement and other difficult behaviors. 

38.  Seems to read your mind.  Knows what you want before you ask.

39.  Aware of what’s happening to other family members.

40.  Has an “imaginary” friend or animal.

41.  Stares at what seems empty space and points, smiles, or talks with that empty space.  Particularly noticeable with babies.

42.  Feelings of being watched that is not about a mental disorder.

43.  Knows personalities of deceased family members they have never known.  Recognizes deceased family members in photographs.

44.  Refuses to go near a particular person or room or building.

45.  Active dream life with vivid colors; flying dreams; falls out of bed a lot; premonition dreams.

46.  Talks with things in Nature.

47.  Objects move around them.

48.  Seems to know when someone is ill, and the child may spontaneously touch the person.

49.  Sees auras; may tell you that a person is a particular color.  May tell you when a person is ill or about to die after seeing that person.

50.  Talks about a past life.



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