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  • Writer's pictureChristine McCarty

Noise Canceling…



A child on the autism spectrum can have a multitude of sensory issues. One sensory issue we experience is sensitivity to noise. Many are unable to filter out irrelevant noises as they process sensory inputs differently than typical people.


According to the study, A meta-analysis of sensory modulation symptoms in individuals with autism spectrum disorders: “Unusual responses to sensory stimuli are experienced by up to 90% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.”


Although it is unclear as to whether sensory processing difficulties are a trait of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or a trait of comorbid disorders, behavioral responses to sensory stimuli have become so prevalent that the most recent criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition for ASD added a diagnostic component of hyper- and hypo- reactivity to sensory stimuli. Meaning, they can experience hyperreactivity when they are over-responsive to certain sensory input, or they can experience hypoactivity in situations where they are under-responsive to certain sensory input.


With Addy, we experience hyperreactivity. We believe her world can be a noisy place with sensory overload when in a loud place or because of too much noise. We identified this observing and listening to Addy while at school assemblies or musicals. Often, she was unable to sit still and/or would tell us “too loud”. We recently purchased Snug Kids Ear Protection - Noise Cancelling Sound Proof Earmuffs/Headphones. They have been a game changer for her! She is now able to sit longer and enjoy herself by limiting unwanted noise. You may wonder – can she hear anything? When I tried them on, I could hear but at a much lower volume. Sounds are just one of many stimuli typical people are filtering on a regular basis. We also must regulate light, feelings, etc., at times, as it can all be a bit too much for Addy. However, by cutting down on the noise/volume we notice a calmer and happier kid with the ability to focus longer.


So, if you are ever wondering if your child needs them or not (especially if they are not able to tell you) I would try them and measure the reaction. In their own way, they will be able to tell you if they are needed or not. Remember, it’s our job as parents/caregivers to make the world a more enjoyable and noise free place for them thrive!


Much love,

Raising Addy

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