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I have a three and a half year old daughter who was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder through early intervention services.  Her pediatrician really doesnt recognize it as more than pure temperment as she has been highly sensitive since birth.  If something isnt right or makes her uncomfortable she reacts.  She developed language a bit later than others as she needed ear tubes for constant fluid.  Since developing language she now knows how to say no to some thing, push things away, and after a bit of temper tantrum will say 'im all better'.

Im wondering of the best way to handle her natural fight or flight responses.  Her first reaction is to hit when she feels threatened in any way.  She doesnt hit strangers but those she feels should know what she wants or doesnt or who are making her uncomfortable.  She doesnt react negatively to the normal categories under spd....she only reacts when feeling threatened or if these are normal caregivers she has higher expectations of.  

I know sensitive children have a different way of seeing the world and we have to handle them differently.  I just want to know the best way to work with her immature nervous system and overly emotional responses.

Thank You

Hi, Angela,

Don't let her hit anyone.  Sensitive or not, this is not the acceptable way we show displeasure.  I would handle her responses in a calm, compassionate way, explaining why things are happening and explaining why her response, it it involves hitting, is inappropriate.  

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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