Suggestions for Auditory Avoiders
Suggestions for Auditory Avoiders:
· If you know in advance when an alarming sound will occur, give advance warning by saying “James, in 2 minutes the bus will beep to let us know it is here.”
· Allow your child to hold a comfort object if this soothes him/her.
· Consider using headphones in places that are noisy (restaurant, grocery store, car rides). This will allow child to have calming input of his/her choice rather than the background noise which may be annoying to them.
· Allowing your child to control the noise is sometimes helpful. Allow him/her to turn music up/down, control the sound of a beeping horn, etc.
· Social stories about the importance of fire drills, etc. helps them put meaning and importance behind the sounds. Talking with them about how the sounds bother them and then talking about solutions together may make it more manageable (put on headphones, go into another room).
· Consider earplugs to keep the noise level toned down in loud situations.
· At home, if you know in advance that a noise that is going to bother your child (sibling playing loudly with friends, sibling playing musical instruments) is coming, give advance warning and help them decide on an area of the house where the noise will not be so loud or annoying.
· Firm hugs (bear hugs) may help to calm your child.
· Chewing gum or other things that are strong input to the jaw (drinking thick liquid thru a straw, eating licorice) can compete with external noises and calm the sensory system.
· Prepare ahead of time, if you are aware that a disturbing noise is upcoming (i.e. hand dryer in public restroom, warn child, let him explore it or simply chose the alternate paper towel).
Keep in mind that not all solutions may work for all children all the time. Once you have created safe experiences for your child to explore and get used to loud noises, helped him/her develop an appropriate response to the sounds, the sounds will become more manageable.
Please contact me with any questions or concerns, Stephanie Sparks, OT