“The magical Powers of Hypersensitive Sensory Processing”
I have the uncanny ability to see, observe, analyze and therefore understand everything in my surroundings. My powers of observation are very keenly attuned. This could be from what I have termed ‘ the magical powers of hypersensitive sensory processing’. I am constantly aware of my environment so I can make the necessary adjustments for myself to remain grounded and centred. If the lights are too bright I need to dim them , if it’s too loud I can’t focus, if the smells are too strong I need to remove myself.
This in turn relates to how as an Educational Assistant I interact with my students. I not only have to be aware of the surroundings for myself, but also for my students. Within the first 30 seconds of the ‘ good-morning’ interaction I know what kind of a day it is going to be. Is my student calm, or unsettled? The strategies I implement are different or more intense on days where my student is less settled as opposed to calm. Will the day be spent with the lights dim, or on full. Will I talk more or less today. If my student is whispering, I know that he wants me to speak low as well.
When I notice my student is calm and easy going, my language is quite casual. I can
say “ hey come on over and get started”, and he will no problem. On days that he is unsettled, my language would change to “ ok, time to start math ” coupled with both a hand gesture to the chair with my eyes following, and positioning my body to guide him in the right direction. I know that on days where he is unsettled, we might take more breaks, or work for less time than usual. I know not to introduce a new kind of work on these days, but it’s better to follow the regular structure and routine of the day. On days where he is calm, and ‘ easy’ I can expect a better result from introducing new kind of work or more work.
My powers of awareness in many capacities have allowed me to anticipate and understand what is needed for my students. Are they in need of movement, a quiet space, or food. All small things that make a big difference as to the success of the day, for both myself and my students.
YES. I’m a super sensor too, and it’s awesome to think about it as a super power. This is on the list of what makes you uniquely talented at what you do. You can feel what these kids feel and need for themselves. You’re teaching them to turn their hypersensitivity into a super power too.
Also, kudos for honouring how they feel. In my world there is so much emphasis placed on “diagnosing” and labeling people with their problems or deficits. So often it stops there in their minds because that’s about as far as we go as a culture. We’re fascinated with pointing at what something is, or is not.
The kids you work with are so hindered by this mind set. I’m always so inspired to hear how you make it possible for them to learn and experience life. You honour their feelings and needs first, making sure what they need is met, and then moving into the life part, with them already fully satisfied in a way.
I’m not sure if that makes sense! In short, you’re awesome!
So true I love it: “You’re teaching them to turn their hypersensitivity into a super power too.”
And so I agree with Adrienne: you’re awesome !!
Thank you for that share !!
In recent years I have more and more realized how sensitive and sometimes I perceive it as a detriment of some sorts. But the way you languaged it as a tool for you to “make the necessary adjustments for yourself to remain grounded and centred” gives me a great different perspective !
It made me realize that adding the extra step of “How can I stay grounded and centred ?” has the potential to turn it all around from reacting automatically for the sake of others to reacting purposefully for my own sake.
Love it, thanks !!! 😉
Being aware of myself and what I need first, has helped me in ‘responding’ instead of ‘ reacting’. I’m not sure where I learned about responding vs reacting, but it sure does change perspective on how you do things; ” turn it around from reacting automatically for the sake of others to [ responding] purposefully for my own sake”. I like it!
Thanks for that differentiation between react and respond which makes it even clearer !!
Hi Gracie! I love this post! I am also a super sensor and am working at staying grounded so I am able to respond rather than react. I love the open-mindedness of this group. I have two kids-total opposites and watching them deal with things at school or social events when expected to be just like everyone else has been tough for me. Instead of being too hard on myself at times for being “over sensitive” I’ve learned to appreciate that feeling I get when one of my kids comes home after a tough day. I am grateful that I am able to feel that there is an issue, we talk about it and deal with it in a more positive way. I believe there is a way to manage everything without making everyone or everything the same. I love how you work with each child separately and help them achieve their goals in their own ways. Brilliant! Wish there were more teachers out there like you!