Sound Sensitivity & Autism

April 23, 2012

Image provided by Medical News

To pick up on a post made last week, sound sensitivity can be a problem for many children with Autism and it is something Zak has struggled with since he was very little.  He has hypersensitive hearing meaning loud noises or just a long rumble of noise can really bother him.  We have also learned that it can be the pitch of the noise as well (not just the volume) – which we found very interesting but appears to be very true in Zak’s case.  When he was a toddler & before diagnosis, he would cry at certain sounds that certainly were not loud.

Two examples that come to mind actually used to make us laugh because we could not figure out why he would cry, but as soon as he heard the sound he started screaming.  One was the sound of the “Wheel of Fortune” wheel spinning (at first we thought it was Pat Sajak’s fault).  The second was one particular lady’s voice from a Baby Einstein video (she was the French speaking gal and we just thought he hated French).   He would run up to the TV and turn it off and we would put it back on – thinking how funny it was.  Not only did we laugh, we would torture him to show anyone how it affected him.

Loud sounds certainly bother him as well.  I remember watching a parade with Zak and there were muscle cars that revved their engines which caused a screaming tantrum.  I just thought he was scared.

These are signs that we missed and could have helped us get earlier treatment.  It you see your child do any of these things, have them checked.

  • Covering of ears with hands
  • Screaming at loud or specific noises
  • Trying to flee
  • Self injury
  • Humming or making other noises to try to drown out the other sound

There are a few things that we missed (even thought they were funny).  We have used a few coping methods with Zak to help him, especially in school.  The first thing is noise canceling headphones (we use these).   He brings them to school which allows him to better cope in his classroom when it gets noisy, participate in fire drills and attend school assemblies.  Not only do they dramatically help with noise reduction, they ease his anxiety as well.  They even help him sleep at night when there is a storm.  A therapy you can look into, but something we have not tried is Auditory Integration Training.  Zakary is still bothered by certain noises and loudness, but we have seen great improvement.

How has he improved?  One example – one of his favorite shows to watch…..Wheel of Fortune & we smile every time it comes on!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

United Kingdom Classifieds Board September 25, 2013 at 5:05 AM

Thanks for finally talking about >SOUND SENSITIVITY IN A CHILD WITH AUTSIM – Some signs to
look for. <Liked it!

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