15-20% of children have Sensory Processing Sensitivity (Highly Sensitive Children “have” SPS) which means they notice subtleties, process deeply, are easily over-stimulated and experience more intense emotions than their counterparts.
5-16% of children have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), a neurological condition that affects their ability to take in, process and output a response to stimuli in their environment.
Some children are both Highly Sensitive and have SPD, which can make understanding their challenging behaviors even more complicated.
Please answer each question as best you can. Answer TRUE (T) if it is at least moderately true of your child, or was true for a substantial time in the past. Answer FALSE (F) if it is not very true of your child, or was never true.
- T F complains about itchy tags, seams on socks and/or wearing shoes. Does not like wearing underwear and prefers being naked or wearing soft cotton clothes (like t-shirts and sweatpants/leggings.)
- T F startles easily.
- T F avoids/dislikes “messy play”, (sand, mud, water, glue, glitter, putty, slime, shaving cream.)
- T F does not usually enjoy big surprises.
- T F melts down when having hair washed or brushed, face washed or teeth brushed.
- T F learns better from a gentle correction than strong punishment.
- T F avoids and/or dislikes playground equipment like swings, ladders, slides, or merry-go-rounds.
- T F seems to read my mind.
- T F gets car and/or motion sickness.
- T F uses big words for his/her age.
- T F does not like their feet to leave the ground (may not like sitting in a chair/car seat where feet ‘dangle’.)
- T F has a clever sense of humor.
- T F is a very picky eater with extreme food preferences (limited repertoire of foods, resists trying new foods, may avoid and/or gag with certain food textures.)
- T F seems very intuitive.
- T F has strong reactions to certain smells and avoids people or places that smell yucky.
- T F has a hard time getting to sleep after an exciting day.
- T F is sensitive to sounds and may cover ears when a siren passes or want to avoid bathrooms with automated flushers/hand dryers.
- T F does not do well with big changes.
- T F needs to touch everything and everyone.
- T F asks lots of questions.
- T F is not bothered by injuries like cuts or bruises.
- T F notices the distress in others.
- T F may not be aware that hands or face are dirty, or feel their nose running.
- T F prefers quiet play.
- T F frequently (and unintentionally) hurts other children while playing.
- T F asks deep, thought-provoking questions.
- T F struggles to ‘be gentle’ with animals or objects.
- T F notices subtleties (something that’s been moved, a change in a person’s appearance, etc.)
- T F struggles/struggled to potty train because they couldn’t ‘tell when they needed to go.’
- T F performs best when strangers aren’t present.
- T F frequently bites, sucks or chews on fingers or non-food objects.
- T F feels things deeply.
- T F loves ‘rough housing,’ tackling and wrestling games.
- T F is strong willed and intense.
- T F would jump on a trampoline for hours on end.
- T F likes things done in a particular way.
- T F constantly wants ‘one more’ turn down the slide, book read and/or hug goodbye.
- T F struggles with transitions and needs several warnings before stopping an activity (like leaving the park, cleaning up toys, etc.)
- T F has difficulty with fine motor tasks, such as buttoning, zipping and fastening clothes.
- T F has a very strong attachment to one (or both) parents and does not easily warm up to or strangers or new people (including family members.)
- T F may be afraid of the dark.
- T F sometimes described as bossy or dramatic.
- T F has difficulty using scissors, crayons or utensils.
- T F shows a natural affinity for care taking.
- T F may have never crawled as a baby.
- T F is a perfectionist or needs things done a certain way.
- T F fatigues easily.
- T F displays extreme separation anxiety and struggles with saying goodbye.
- 49. T F has poor gross motor skills; difficulty jumping, catching a ball, doing jumping jacks, climbing a ladder, learning exercise/dance steps, difficulty stepping over something.
If you answered yes to 5 or more even numbered questions, your child may be highly sensitive.
If you answered yes to 5 or more odd numbered questions, your child may have SPD.
If you answered yes to 5 or more even and odd numbered questions your child may have SPSD.
You are invited to schedule a free Zoom session with Melissa Schwartz if you’d like more support in deciphering the results of your quiz or if you want loving guidance to nurture your highly sensitive, sensory or SPSD child.
Learn more about SPSD by watching this free webinar too!