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Laugh, Love, Learn

“Intense? Sensitive? Over-anxious? Easily overwhelmed? Reacts out of proportion? Puzzled or worried about your child or teenager?”

Those were the words on the front page of a PowerWood flyer that led me down a path that changed my life.

I’d spent years trying to figure out what was going on with my son. In one day, the  PowerWood workshop answered every question I had (and more besides).

What I discovered is that, instead of having something wrong with him as so many people had suggested (and I’d feared), my son has the innate personality traits known as overexcitabilities.

Learning about overexcitabilities made such a profound difference to my family that I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to find out about them.

I created this blog to share what I’ve learned with other parents.

I’m not psychologist. Other people have written plenty about the psychological basis of overexcitabilities.  So what do I add?

I write as a mum to two amazing, intense, sensitive children. I share my unique perspective of parenting kids with OEs. Your perspective will be different, but perhaps you’ll recognise your own family in some of my posts. Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to share a few stories of your own, either here (in the comments) or on the Laugh, Love, Learn FaceBook page – or maybe even on your own blog. Let’s get this knowledge out there!

My Story

How I found the secret key to understanding my sensitive and intense family

How I discovered that OEs aren’t something that needs fixing

How I finally found my tribe after years of feeling isolated and blamed for my son’s behaviour.

About overexcitabilities

What are overexcitabilities?  Includes a link to an OE questionnaire to find out if you or your family have OEs

Overexcitabilities – Frequently asked questions, including how many people have OEs, when they were identified and what are the positives and risks associated with having OEs

The five types of overexcitability

7 Signs your child has psychomotor OE

What is sensual overexcitability?

The ups and downs of imaginational overexcitability

6 Things you need if your child has intellectual overexcitability

15 Things your child with emotional overexcitability might say

Misdiagnosis of overexcitabilities

Have you or someone else ever suspected that your child has ADHD, ASD, SPD or some other diagnosis?

Overexcitabilities are often mistaken for diagnosable psychiatric disorders. Read about the difference between OEs and diagnoses here:

My child has overexcitabilities – Now what?

How do I know if my child is highly-sensitive, has SPD, is gifted or has OEs?

Overexcitabilities and high ability

Children who are highly able often have OEs. In the UK the word ‘gifted’ is controversial, which can get in the way of parents finding help for their children.

Why being British stopped me finding help for my twice-exceptional child

Help twice-exceptional children by supporting their parents (Originally published in the Huffington Post)

Parenting children with OEs

Parenting kids with OEs can be a delight. And it can be incredibly challenging, especially when we have OEs of our own. Here are a few things I’ve discovered so far about how to enjoy being a mum to sensitive and intense children:

Why our intense children trigger our suppressed pain

Why looking after ourselves is the key to parenting our intense and sensitive children

5 Keys to staying sane as a mum to sensitive spirited kids

Do you like listening to guided meditations? I made this MP3 recording to help keep me mindful and in my wellbeing:

A surprisingly powerful tool to raise your energy and resilience

Overexcitabilities and learning

How overexcitabilities can help you learn – and how they can hold children back in the classroom

The unexpected lessons I learned when I went back to school for a week

Life in an OE family

Many people recognise themselves in my light-hearted articles about life in an OE family:

You know your family has overexcitabilities when…

10 Things that happen to OE families on vacation (that probably don’t happen to other families)

10 Things that happen on birthdays in overexcitable families


What’s it like being a tween with overexcitabilities? A candid interview with my 12 year old daughter.