Helping Children with Autism and Sound Sensitivity
Did you know that over 90% of the children and people diagnosed with autism overreact to noises? This sound sensitivity is clinically termed as Hyperacusis, and it’s a condition where certain noises are agonizing uncomfortable and emotionally disturbing for the child. Children are more sensitive to Hyperacusis because they are still learning to cope with their symptoms and find their place within communities.
Many adults learn to cope and live with sound sensitivity, but one cannot expect children to muster such mature responses. It’s crucial for parents to learn how to manage a sound-sensitive autistic child in healthy and impactful ways.
Encourage them to wear Headphones in Noisy Places
Parents can’t always control noise pollution and they don’t want to socially isolate their children by confining them within their homes. Encouraging your child to wear headphones in crowded and noisy areas is a wise decision to prevent discomfort. We advise carrying headphones or double-layered noise-reducing ear muffs in your bag while commuting to prevent your child from reacting to noisy environments.
Find Quiet Places Nearby
Is your child reeling and experiencing discomfort in a noisy situation? You must act fast and extract your child from that situation immediately. Find a quiet place nearby and allow them to calm down and catch their breath. When your child has regained their composure, you can steer them back towards the crowd or resume the activity that you were enjoying.
Provide Emotional Support
Parents who react to outbursts, public meltdowns and overreactions with criticism, impatience and anger don’t understand the discomfort of sound sensitivity. Your child is suffering because the noise causes extreme discomfort to autistic people. You need to understand the gravity of their discomfort and offer emotional support and comfort. Soothe and calm your child and demonstrate patience while steering them to a quiet place where they can catch their breath.
Anticipate Noise Levels
Are you planning to catch the subway with your autistic child? Or perhaps, you want to take your child to the carnival? Either way, it’s wise to anticipate noise levels to prevent discomfort. If you anticipate the event or destination to be excessively noisy, it’s wise to avoid taking your child there.
Parents must understand the enormity of sound sensitivity and the discomfort autistic children experience in noisy environments. Its wise to work with a child psychologist if you’re struggling to manage the sound sensitivity needs of your little ones.