Tantrums & aggression in highly sensitive 4 year old

Hi all!

We are dealing with some really terrible behavioral challenges with our (highly sensitive) 4yr old, quite above and beyond his peers. I had a feeling it was atypical, but after staying with my cousin and her kids, she confirmed my suspicions and recommended we talk to someone. His tantrums are next level - he's totally flooded, aggressive, screaming, hysterical, and they go on forever. And not getting enough sleep or a small routine change just sends him thru the roof - he literally sucks all the air out of the family and it's impacting his little brother. I'm almost positive he's not on the autism spectrum but I'm wondering if there's another behavioral or developmental issue we're not aware of. I would like to work with someone but not sure who - a parenting coach (that is familiar with the HSC)? a therapist? Someone that can determine if he has a learning disability? A support group for families that are raising HSC?!? HELP!! 

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It's possible this is some form of Sensory Processing Disorder, or another sensory-related consideration. If I was in your situation, I would speak to his pediatrician and and ask for a referral to an occupational therapist (OT). 

we have struggled for years with tantrums with our highly sensitive daughter. we had similar issues, hours long, so much screaming and sometimes aggression or destruction. she is now 11 and with her age and size the tantruming was getting scarier and more worrisome. we had a therapist suggest getting a giant trampoline for her. anger is energy and has to be discharged. she said having her jump for some time each day had been shown to help children with big feelings, tantrums, aggression. we were at our wits end and decided to go for it. our daughter has actually been asking for one for years (when i told the therapist that she said often kids will tell us exactly what they need--ha). we've had it since feb and she's maybe had 2 tantrums since then. and they were much less scary than where she was before (she was more like 2-3 tantrums a week). often highly sensitive kids are highly stressed kids, so it's also important to look for areas in life to reduce stress. are they overscheduled? do they have adequate downtime to choose what they want to do? are there ways you can help them make transitions to and from places more easily? we also started looking into more sensory inputs for her (even tho she doesn't present as needed major sensory help transitions have always been such a struggle). so many kids have some sensory sensitivities and there are tools to help them get those needs met. we got her a music player because music is so regulating for her--she can listen whenever she wants or during a transition. also regular snacks are super important for blood sugar stability (it's all about protein). and finally, sometimes littles need big body play with their grownups. check out hand in hand parenting for ways to help them relieve stress and connect with you. these are all my tips. but really that giant trampoline was  a game changer/life saver. i wish we got one years ago. good luck! 

We had a great experience with Rebecah Freeling at Wits End Parenting (https://witsendparenting.com/). She deals specifically with strong-willed children, and gave us a lot of practical advice to deal with our four year old's refusal to cooperate, screaming, biting, etc. We were also feeling like he was taking over all our time together as a family. With some concrete tools, we were able to get to a place where he's much more cooperative and we're able to relax and have fun with him. I was really impressed by how much she enjoyed kids and could put herself in their shoes while giving us tools to be able to function together as a family. Anyway, recommend! Hope you can find help for your little one.