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Published in Autism Bay Area Magazine (Summer 2015): Auditory Sensitivity – Strategies for Tolerating Loud Voices, Sounds and Crowds

December 29, 2015

TOPICS: Autism

As published in Autism Bay Area Magazine (Summer 2015)

Children with varying degrees of sensitivities to sounds and auditory input present differently. This condition becomes distressing when the sensitivity prevents them from fully participating in their daily lives such as birthday parties, crowded restaurants and classrooms.

Children who have sensory processing challenges and/or autistic spectrum disorders often operate in “fight or flight” mode. In such cases, the brain interprets loud or high-pitched sounds as threatening and noxious. The child may respond to such auditory input by engaging in disorganized behavior in order to break free from the distressing sensory environment.

When these sensitivities impact full participation in daily living it’s clinically considered “abnormal” or “impacting function”.

Hypersensitivity to loud voices and sounds occurs for a variety of reasons:

  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Sensory processing challenges
  • Auditory hypo or hypersensitivity
  • Tactile sensitivity and/or anxiety

The top 10 ways to support auditory sensitivity…