Children with Autism or Auditory Processing Disorder often have a hard time with noise. Some researchers hypothesize that strong avoidance to certain sounds and noises may be learned responses that are either fear or annoyance based. Other researchers have found differences in the temporal lobe of the brain of people on the autism spectrum, specifically the cortical area that helps with auditory processing. Audiologists have found that people on the spectrum may have enhanced perception to certain sounds, impaired perception of other sounds, or a combination of hyper (overly sensitive) or hypo (unable to pick up on) sensitivity to sounds.
Back ground noise is a constant nuisance and causes major difficulty when it comes to processing information.
It is for this reason that noise reducing headphones or earmuffs can come in very handy in loud spaces. Headphones can lower the overall decibel rate of background noise while still allowing your child to hear someone speaking to them.
Some examples of where your child may need headphones are:
- Concerts or sporting events
- Airports and planes
- Rooms with echos
- Noisy city streets
- In large crowds
I recently purchased Sissy ear muffs, Safe and Sound, to help with her sensitivity to loud sounds. They are foldable and easily stored in your purse or backpack for on the go. While she is reluctant to wear them on her ears right now, I know once she gets used to them she will enjoy the benefits.