The Highly Sensitive Child in Swim Lessons

Identifying and Working with Children With The Personality Trait of High Sensitivity

Did you know that about 20% of the children in your swim school have the personality trait of high sensitivity?

Research conducted by clinical and research psychologist, Elaine Aron, PhD and others has found that approximately 20% of the population identifies with the personality or temperament trait of high sensitivity.

Thanks to the pioneering research of Dr Elaine Aron we now understand that being highly sensitive is not a character flaw or a disorder, nor is it caused by environmental circumstances, rather it is a unique and equally valid way of experiencing the environment that offers many distinct advantages in certain situations.

The trait is visible from birth and children with the trait are deeply reflective, sensitive to the subtle, and easily overwhelmed.  These are the children that are the most likely to postpone starting lessons or drop out at times of transition due to overwhelm.

Teachers and their parents may see them as fussy, wimpy, shy and difficult children that need to be toughened up and fixed from their apparent “disorder”. However, trait sensitivity is not a disorder and not the same as sensitivity due to Autism Spectrum or Sensory Processing Disorder.


This session will give you

  • a greater understanding of the personality trait of high sensitivity
  • information about how to recognise the trait in young children
  • practical strategies for teaching the Highly Sensitive Child (HSC) in lessons
  • tools for helping the HSC master new and unfamiliar situations


Duration of session

The duration of this session can be flexible to suit your needs, from a minimum time of a 60 min presentation including question/discussion time to a half-day interactive workshop comprising 2 x 90 min sessions.


About your presenter

Janine Ramsey is a licenced counsellor in Australia and learn to swim professional specialising in trauma informed practices. She has been involved in the learn to swim industry for 40 years in various roles including swim teacher, swim school owner and now as consultant and educator for swim schools around the world.

Janine is passionate about ensuring families have positive experiences at the swim school and that lessons are free of force and trauma.

As a person who identifies with the trait of high sensitivity herself, Janine can offer a depth of understanding only possible from someone with lived experienced.