My 9 year old daughter has ADD. She is also highly sensitive and prone to screaming if something upsets her, or if she doesn't get what she wants immediately. Or if she has something that she wants, but there is a threat of it's imminent removal. She has a disproportionate reaction to pain or fear. Her howls can be heard from miles away, but upon frenzied examination, we find a small scratch, or a little bruise. We have begun to listen more for the silences than the screams of apparent agony. Silence means unconsciousness.
Recently we visited a pumpkin patch, with it's paraphernalia of slides, animals and all-you-can-drink-cider. Of course we rode the hayride. Of course there was the guy jumping out from behind a shed with a green mask on his face. We all screamed dutifully and laughed. My daughter was consumed with her own private, irrational terror and tried to leap from the moving wagon. For the remainder of the ride she sobbed and wailed, tears streaking her dust covered face, straw in her hair, head burrowed into her Daddies lap. I should have thought ahead. I should have foreseen her reaction. But every time, I subconsciously forget, and hope that she will have outgrown these illogical phobias: The horror of watching a movie at the theater, where the characters seem to jump out of the screen at her. The twin feelings of dread and excitement as Halloween approaches; the desire for candy tempered by the fear of all those scary costumed figures stalking the streets. Maybe one day she will grow out of it all. But at the moment it just seems to be getting worse, not better.