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Back to School With a Sensitive Kid?

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

Here are six ideas to manage routines in the school year.

We are creatures of habit and everyone struggles with transitions to a certain degree. But children, tweens, and teens who have been exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACE), developmental delays, learning difficulties, as well as emotionally sensitive children, in general, are especially vulnerable in transitions. In this post, I refer to such children as “sensitive.”

Biologically, our body and nervous system are set up to be easily triggered when things are not predictable. This is a survival response that puts the coping responses of a sensitive person on hair-trigger alert. Being on high alert is useful for certain kinds of crises, but it can wreak havoc on the life of a child and caregivers when the nervous system is triggered by every small change in environment or routine. 

The transition from summer vacation back to school is for many children a shift towards higher anxiety. School can be stressful for many reasons – social pressure, academic pressure, physical and cognitive stress. Emotional pressures increase and most children display an increase in stress responses.

Read the rest of the blog on the ETI blog in Psychology Today




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