Here are your tests!

Are you highly sensitive?

If you are a parent trying to evaluate your child, please use the test for “Is Your Child Highly Sensitive?” below.
Copyright, Elaine N. Aron, 1996

Instructions: Answer each question according to the way you personally feel. Check the box if it is at least somewhat true for you; leave unchecked if it is not very true or not at all true for you.

I am easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input.
I seem to be aware of subtleties in my environment.
Other people’s moods affect me.
I tend to be very sensitive to pain.
I find myself needing to withdraw during busy days,into bed or into a darkened room or any place where I can have some privacy and relief from stimulation.
I am particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
I am easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells,coarse fabrics,or sirens close by.
I have a rich,complex inner life.
I am made uncomfortable by loud noises.
I am deeply moved by the arts or music.
My nervous system sometimes feels so frazzled that I just have to go off by myself.
I am conscientious.
I startle easily.
I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
When people are uncomfortable in a physical environment I tend to know what needs to be done to make it more comfortable (like changing the lighting or the seating).
I am annoyed when people try to get me to do too many things at once.
I try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things.
I make a point to avoid violent movies and TV shows.
I become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around me.
Changes in my life shake me up.
I notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works of art.
I find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once.
I make it a high priority to arrange my life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations.
I am bothered by intense stimuli, like loud noises or chaotic scenes.
When I must compete or be observed while performing a task, I become so nervous or shaky that I do much worse than I would otherwise.
When I was a child, my parents or teachers seemed to see me as sensitive or shy.

Scoring:

If you answered more than fourteen of the questions as true of yourself, you are probably highly sensitive. But no psychological test is so accurate that an individual should base his or her life on it. We psychologists try to develop good questions, then decide on the cut off based on the average response.

If fewer questions are true of you, but extremely true, that might also justify calling you highly sensitive.

Is Your Child Highly Sensitive?

A Parent’s Questionnaire

Instructions: Please answer each question as best as you can. Check answer if it is true or at least moderately true of your child, or was for a substantial time in the past. Leave unchecked if it has not been very true of your child, or was never at all true.

My child:

startles easily
complains about scratchy clothing, seams in socks, or labels against his/her skin.
doesn’t usually enjoy big surprises.
learns better from a gentle correction than strong punishment.
seems to read my mind.
uses big words for his/her age.
notices the slightest unusual odor.
has a clever sense of humor.
seems very intuitive.
is hard to get to sleep after an exciting day.
doesn’t do well with big changes.
wants to change clothes if wet or sandy.
asks lots of questions.
is a perfectionist.
notices the distress of others.
prefers quiet play.
asks deep, thought-provoking questions.
is very sensitive to pain.
is bothered by noisy places.
notices subtleties (something that’s been moved, a change in a person’s appearance, etc.)
considers if it is safe before climbing high.
performs best when strangers aren’t present.
feels things deeply.

Scoring:

If you answered true to 13 or more of the questions, your child is probably highly sensitive. But no psychological test is so accurate that you should base how you treat your child on it.

If only one or two questions are true of your child, but they are extremely true, you might also be justified in calling your child highly sensitive.

The contents of this website and the self-tests it contains are not meant to diagnose or exclude the diagnosis of any condition. These tests contain copyrighted material and may not be copied and used without permission. For permission, please email.

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