Project

E-MOTION - potential of highlysensitivity (project no: 2018-1-PL01-KA201-051033) / E-MOTION - potencjał wysokiej wrażliwości

Goal: The main goal of the project is to develop, test and implement a comprehensive model of support for highly sensitive students in
pre-school and early school age.

Specific objectives:

1. Developing the substantive assumptions of the model and the final product in the form of an online platform (with defined modules) supporting the work of teachers in preschool and primary school level.

2. Testing and validation of the developed, defining standards of the tool (for partner countries).

3. Working instructions (psychometric guide and knowledge compendium for using the model for teachers; rules of cooperation with parents)

4. Development of materials (platform modules) supporting the work of teachers with highly sensitive students as well as cooperation with their parents.

Date: 1 September 2018 - 31 August 2021

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Project log

Monika Baryła-Matejczuk
added 2 research items
The aim of this part is to design actions to support highly sensitive children in their immediate environment. Part 2 is aimed at the teachers. Firstly, the importance of the environment for the upbringing of highly sensitive children is examined. Qualities of the external environment such as noise and sensory overload, as well as the support experienced by the child are all important for the child’s development. In maladjusted conditions the child will experience difficulty to adapt, while optimal support facilitates development of the child’s own potential (Vantage Sensitivity). The optimal attitude of the parents and carers working with highly sensitive children and its roots in humanistic psychology are described afterwards. A highly sensitive child is the recipient of educational and parental efforts. Realization of those functions requires considering specific needs of a highly sensitive child and the adaptation of the ways of achieving those goals. Because of the specific ways of experiencing reality and the individualized responses, a highly sensitive child is often seen by teachers as difficult. It requires an effort of their part to surface and develop the child’s innate potential. Keywords: highly sensitive child, educational environment, upbringing, humanistic upbringing, vantage sensitivity
This study is the result of an international collaboration of researchers and practitioners who have set themselves the common goal of developing support-oriented approach for highly sensitive children in their immediate environment. High sensitivity is a temperamental trait that characterizes about 20% of the population. Research confirms that highly sensitive people process information and stimuli coming from their environment more strongly (intensively) and deeply than others. These individuals are more sensitive, both to positive and negative experiences. According to Elaine N. Aron (2013), the author of the concept of high sensitivity, the number of individuals characterized by high sensitivity is too high to treat the trait like any other trait, but too small for these individuals to be understood and supported by their environment in an adequate way. The trait acquires particular significance when we talk about children. For highly sensitive children, inadequate conditions of development may become particularly burdensome and consequently affect their future. The adult plays a key role in creating conditions for the child’s development and is the primary source of support. The following parts, therefore, deal with the issue of conditions that support the child according to their immediate environment: parents who raise the child, specialists who work with the child, the institution (school, kindergarten) that creates conditions for development. The book is addressed primarily to specialists who work with children aged 3–10 years daily (teachers, educators, psychologists, pedagogues), as well as to those who, due to their interests or professional responsibilities, are involved in supporting children. Given its content, the study can be useful for students of psychology and pedagogy. We also recommend the book to parents. Although we realize that parts of the book may be difficult to read in places, we are convinced that the knowledge and guidance it contains will pay dividends in both a fuller understanding of the nature of sensitivity and in effective support of children. The book consists of four parts, which systematize knowledge about the functioning of a highly sensitive child and indicate the importance of the environment in which the child develops. Each part begins with an introduction summarizing the knowledge about the issue. A paragraph introduces conceptual underpinnings of high sensitivity, supported by information from research findings and existing knowledge. Consecutively, reference is made to the practical dimensions of the information - the authors seek to answer the question of how to put knowledge about the functioning of highly sensitive children into practice. Each section is summarized with short bullet points or tips on working with a highly sensitive child. The first part, SENSORY PROCESSING SENSITIVITY, introduces the issue of sensitivity (its professional name, meaning and definition), as well as the specifics of behaviour of highly sensitive people. It characterizes the functioning of a sensitive child in the physical, emotional, cognitive and interpersonal spheres. The last paragraph attempts to summarize the most important information. In line with the goal of our work, adequate support of highly sensitive children should start with the trait identification, in the first place. To begin with, it is necessary to identify whether we are dealing with a highly sensitive child. Initial identification of temperament traits is often based on behavioural analysis, which in the case of highly sensitive children may be confused in the clinical picture with disorders such as hyperactivity, sensory integration disorder, autism spectrum disorders, among others. Competence in identifying the trait (positive diagnosis) should be the beginning of the process of supporting highly sensitive children, their families and their immediate environment. The second part of the book comprises the content oriented on EDUCATION AND SUPPORT OF HIGHLY SENSITIVE CHILDREN. In research on child development, special attention is paid to the role of conditions for development, the importance of adequate stimulation. The source of stimulation for a young child is its immediate environment, especially the family home, and then kindergarten and school. The younger the child, the greater, more crucial for development is the importance of environmental stimulation, and thus the quality of the environment. In the first place, attention should be paid to creating conditions for the child’s development. Such an educational contact requires the involvement of both the educator and the child. Accordingly, it is the person of the educator, teacher, caregiver and their skills that create the conditions that foster the child’s development. The third part of the book, EDUCATION AND SUPPORT FOR PARENTS OF HIGHLY SENSITIVE CHILDREN, provides a parent’s perspective. It describes information that clarifies the child’s characteristics, including aspects of the child’s functioning that may be challenging for the parent. Special attention is given to the emotional realm of child functioning, the challenges of parenting, as well as specific methods of working with the child. The section is concluded with suggestions of activities recommended for working with the highly sensitive child. The Fourth Part, EVIDENCE BASED EMBODIED EDUCATION STRATEGIES TO PROMOTE WELL -BEING OF HIGHLY SENSITIVE CHILDREN, presents a framework and practical strategies, based on psychological and neuroscience research, for understanding how embodied education facilitates regulation and an integrated sense of self, and thus contributes to health and well-being of highly sensitive children. Knowledge and skills to support highly sensitive children are also essential for other adults who are important in the child’s life. The content of the child’s temperamental sensitivity area and the skills to support it could enhance the school’s prevention activities, especially in universal prevention. Accordingly, designing support for highly sensitive children is not about modifying their characteristics. Conscious work does not imply interfering with the trait, accepting it as a difficulty or a problem to be dealt with, but on providing conditions in which highly sensitive children will have equal opportunities to develop their potential.
Moises Betancort
added a research item
The Questionnaire on Sensory Processing Sensitivity in Children (QSPSinCh) is designed to measure the personality trait of Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) in children aged 3 to 10 years. SPS is a phenotypic personality trait, characterised by deep cognitive, sensory and emotional processing of environmental information. SPS presents a wide range of levels, as individuals may show low, medium and high sensitivity levels (Greven et al., 2019). Thus, the SPS phenomenon greatly influences different spheres of life (Acevedo, 2020).
Monika Baryła-Matejczuk
added a research item
Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is a feature that describes differences in environmental sensitivity between people. SPS is a hereditary temperamental trait, which is distinct from other personality constructs. This trait is associated with special benefits (including a positive mood, greater awareness, responses to interventions) when a person is raised and lives in positive conditions/environment. In addition, this trait may entail the risk of potential psychological difficulties and the occurrence of stress-related problems when a person is raised and lives in inappropriate, negative conditions/environment. Therefore, the concept of high sensitivity, treated as both a protective factor and a risk factor, became an area of research and practical interest and was used as the basis for the development and subsequent implementation of the international E-MOTION project. The purpose of this work is to approximate the assumptions of the project, the proposed model of supporting children in their immediate environment. The main goal of the project is to develop, test and implement a comprehensive model of support for highly sensitive children of preschool and early-school age. The model is built upon the approach of Sensory Processing Sensitivity in Children. The basis for its construction was also the broader construct of Environmental Sensitivity. In the explication of the specificity of children's development in this period of life, developmental regularities were taken into account as well as protective factors.
Maria Fabiani
added an update
On the first-ever International HSP Day, free online workshops on:
  • Building child-friendly and healthy cities: lesson learnt and current challenges
  • The importance of the environment for the well-being of sensitive children
  • Presentation of the nationwide testing tool for measuring sensitivity for parents and teachers of children aged 3-10 years
  • How parents and teachers can help their sensitive children and students navigate their feelings during school re-openings
  • Highly sensitive child. Model of support in school/preschool environment
  • Happy sensitive ME – Mindfulness and mindful movement programme for children, parents and teachers (Wear comfortable clothes to practice)
Hosted by the metropolitan city of Rome Capital, the event is the culmination of many minds, many perspectives, and many areas of expertise.
Working language: English, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish
 
Monika Baryła-Matejczuk
added 2 research items
The main aim of this paper is to summarize available findings related to the subject of high sensitivity from both the educational and parenting perspectives. According to the authors of the concept of Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), between 15% and 20% of the population exhibit such traits, therefore one has to say that it is necessary to raise the awareness of this subject amongst parents and teachers. High sensitivity may exhibit itself in many ways, depending on the environmental and other temperamental conditions. Understanding its main characteristics (DOES) will allow one to appreciate the potential of this condition instead of focusing on its deficiencies. Such a perspective opens up possible avenues of supporting the Highly Sensitive Child’s resources by both parents and teachers. A review was carried out to answer a research question by collecting and summarizing theo-retical and empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria. The study selection criteria was to find literature/paper reviews and primary studies published in indexed journals included in various databases and focused on Sensory Processing Sensitivity directly, transdisciplinary and ho-listic approaches were central to the process. In the research strategy, the following databases were consulted: PSYCinfo, Scopus and PubMed. The keywords sensory processing, sensitive, environ-mental sensitivity, education were placed in all electronic databases and set to be found in the titles, abstracts or keywords of the documents. No limits on dates were established. At the preparation stage, articles relevant to the topic were selected and supplemented with publications related to child development and educational context. The search was conducted from December 2018 to July 2019.
Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), it is considered a genetically determined personality trait characterized by sensitivity to both internal and external stimuli. Numerous studies have demonstrated that high sensitivity itself is not a disorder, however, in negative, unfavourable conditions it may be correlated with numerous difficulties. The research carried out concerned the SPS relationship with (selected issues are presented): internalization problems, fear, increased levels of stress, the physical symptoms of poor health (with somatic illnesses), or depression. Studies concerning environmental sensitivity also emphasize the fact that SPS is important not only in achieving an understanding of maladaptation, the tendency to experience difficulties, or the risk of developing subsequent dysfunctions but also for the understanding of optimal development or even the exceptional development of potential in a positive environment. High sensitivity, especially in children, should be attending as can be both a protecting factor and a risk factor in adult life. The environment in which highly sensitive children (HSC) develop is particularly important. Attention should be paid to the role of the family environment and the school environment in the quality of functioning of highly sensitive children. Research concerning the quality of the educational environment and sensitivity indicates the occurrence of interaction. Therefore, the purpose of the presentation is to investigate the results of Focus Group Interviews with parents and teachers of highly sensitive children in preschool and younger school age. The results of this research were the basis for the design of the tool for the identification of the feature and thus the appropriate support of HS children.
Monika Baryła-Matejczuk
added a research item
Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is a feature that describes differences in environmental sensitivity between people. SPS is a hereditary temperamental trait, which is distinct from other personality constructs. This trait is associated with special benefits (including a positive mood, greater awareness, responses to interventions) when a person is raised and lives in positive conditions/environment. In addition, this trait may entail the risk of potential psychological difficulties and the occurrence of stress-related problems when a person is raised and lives in inappropriate, negative conditions/environment. Therefore, the concept of high sensitivity, treated as both a protective factor and a risk factor, became an area of research and practical interest and was used as the basis for the development and subsequent implementation of the international E-MOTION project. The purpose of this work is to approximate the assumptions of the project, the proposed model of supporting children in their immediate environment. The main goal of the project is to develop, test and implement a comprehensive model of support for highly sensitive children of preschool and early-school age. The model is built upon the approach of Sensory Processing Sensitivity in Children. The basis for its construction was also the broader construct of Environmental Sensitivity. In the explication of the specificity of children's development in this period of life, developmental regularities were taken into account as well as protective factors.
Moises Betancort
added a research item
Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), it is considered a genetically determined personality trait characterized by sensitivity to both internal and external stimuli, including social and emotional cues (Jagiellowicz et al; 2011). Pioneer studies (Aaron and Aaron, 1997) showed SPS as a unidimensional personality trait independent from social introversion and negative affectivity. This over-sensibility, specially in children, should be attending as can be both a protecting factor and a risk factor for dysfunctional behaviour or motivational emotional problems in adult life. Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS) have been using as objective measure on individual differences in sensory-processing sensitivity. The present symposia will cover the state-of-the-art of this personality trait as part of an international project aimed to develop an interactive tool for families and teachers preventing from social exclusion given teachers a model to work with these children at classes as well as given families answer to the question of how to support and improve early childhood education and care. Link to the pdf (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N6zbe0BBiNUdXCUH93ixblYfBWJsagQ6/view?usp=sharing)
Moises Betancort
added an update
How measure sensibility in children?... University of La Laguna will be leading this output in our project... designing the tool, in collaboration with our partners, to measure sensibility and identify cut points.. we will need the help of parents, teachers and specially children on doing so..
 
Monika Baryła-Matejczuk
added a project goal
The main goal of the project is to develop, test and implement a comprehensive model of support for highly sensitive students in
pre-school and early school age.
Specific objectives:
1. Developing the substantive assumptions of the model and the final product in the form of an online platform (with defined modules) supporting the work of teachers in preschool and primary school level.
2. Testing and validation of the developed, defining standards of the tool (for partner countries).
3. Working instructions (psychometric guide and knowledge compendium for using the model for teachers; rules of cooperation with parents)
4. Development of materials (platform modules) supporting the work of teachers with highly sensitive students as well as cooperation with their parents.