Tips To Help A Child With Autism And Noise Sensitivity
1. Dont avoid noise. As tempting as it is to protect our children from all of the things that cause them anxiety, it is our job as their parents and caregivers to give them the tools they need to cope with the world around them. So rather than avoiding overwhelming situations, we must find ways to make them less stressful instead. Allowing your child to live in a bubble isnt going to do him or her any favors, and while it may make YOUR life easier in the short-term, your ultimate goal is to help your child become independent. The more you practice, the easier things will get, so roll up your sleeves and be prepared to put in a little elbow grease!
2. Figure out your childs triggers. Once youve come to terms with the fact that avoidance is NOT a good strategy when it comes to autism and noise sensitivity, the first thing you want to do is figure out which sounds your child struggles with. I suggest tracking his or her behavior over the course of a few weeks using an Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence Chart, or ABC Chart. Its incredibly easy to create and use, and can be very powerful in determining the root cause of challenging behaviors.
Each time your child shows signs of noise anxiety, like covering his or her ears, engaging in avoidance behaviors, becoming agitated or upset, or even having a complete sensory meltdown, take a few minutes to write down the ABCs of that specific event and the behaviors that occurred:
Talks Later Than Most Kids
It’s true that many children with autism are late talkers. Some never learn to talk at all. But if your child develops normally except for not yet using spoken words, autism is not the likely problem.
Speech delays can be the result of many factors. Your child may have hearing problems or other issues that impact the brain such as aphasia.
The pace at which children develop language skills can also differ. Many of these issues can be treated or even cured.
Meanwhile, there is a good chance that your child’s speech will progress in its own time just fine. But if this issue persists, talking with your child’s health care provider can help address these delays in a timely manner.
Autism Signs By 12 Months
She doesn’t say single words.
She doesn’t use gestures such as waving or shaking her head.
She doesn’t point to objects or pictures.
She can’t stand when supported.
It’s important to note that these criteria aren’t conclusive evidence of autism. “Theyre simply things we look for to determine if we need to further assess the baby, says Mandi Silverman, PsyD, MBA, senior director of the Autism Center at the Child Mind Institute. Another social or developmental factor may be to blame.
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Checklists Of Autism Signs
Through its Learn the Signs. Act Early campaign, the CDC aims to raise awareness of the early signs of developmental delay, including autism. Through a series of milestone checklists, the CDC provides information on what most babies do at different ages and which signs parents should discuss with their childs doctor. Milestones are included for children 2 months to 5 years of age, reflecting a belief among researchers that even infants may show early autism signs.
Early signs of autism or other developmental delays include the following:
Develops Rituals And May Get Upset Over Change
Babies learn morning and nighttime routines with your help. Making activities predictable can provide opportunities for learning.
Babies usually flow with changes in routines such as ending an activity early or adding a new step.
Children with autism may develop rituals and be unwilling to complete a series of behaviors a different way.
If your child insists on certain things being the same and gets very upset over unexpected change, this may be an early sign of autism.
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Smile In Response To Your Smile
A child at risk for autism may not smile or laugh in response to your smile or playfulness although he/she may smile at you on their own and look very happy.
- Example of a typically developing child: While playing on the floor with his mother, Johnny smiles in response to Mrs. Smiths smiling and talking to him.
- Example of a child at risk for autism: Sam only smiles after Mrs. Jones tickles him while playing on the floor.
- DeQuinzio, J., Poulson, C., Townsend, D., & Taylor, B. . Social referencing and children with autism. The Behavior Analyst, 39, 319-331
- Nichols, C., Ibanez, L., Foss-Feig, J., & Stone, W. . Social smiling and its components in high-risk infant siblings without later asd symptomatology. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 894-902.
- Zwaigenbaum, Bryson, Rogers, Roberts, Brian, & Szatmari Behavioral manifestations of autism in the first year of life. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 23, 143-152.
- Lord, Pickles, McLennan, Rutter, Bregman, Folstein, Fombonne, Libya, & Minshew . Diagnosing autism: Analysis of data from the autism diagnostic interview. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 27, 501-517.
Has An Unusual Intelligence Level
Being either far advanced or obviously delayed for their age could be a cause for concern. Some autistic children have an amazing mathematical or musical talent, known as a savant ability. Others are cognitively delayed. If you notice your child is on either end of the spectrum, and is clearly at a different intelligence level than the majority of their peers, its worth noting. That being said, some kids on the spectrum have a normal intelligence level, so the absence of unusual intelligence does not rule out autism.
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Autism And Noise Sensitivity: 7 Tips For Kids With Sensory Anxiety
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While no two children with autism are the same, and the range and intensity of symptoms varies from person to person, certain characteristics tend to stand out when interacting with children on the autism spectrum. Communication challenges, an inability to express emotions and understand the emotions of others, difficulty with transitions, poor impulse control, and problems with self-regulation are all common struggles for kids on the spectrum.
Autism and noise sensitivity is also quite common.
Our auditory system is responsible not only for enabling us to receive auditory input from our environment, but it also helps us to recognize which sounds are important , which ones keep us safe , and which ones we should ignore .
Many children with autism have a comorbid sensory processing disorder diagnosis, which can manifest itself in many different ways. They may avoid certain sensory experiences, or they may seek them out wherever possible. For example, kids who are hypersensitive to noise are often seen covering their ears as they find crowded places like supermarkets and malls extremely overwhelming. These children have difficulty blocking out noises you and I might not even notice, like the hum of the refrigerator or the ticking of an alarm clock, and things like nail cutting and haircuts can be excruciating for them.
Delays In Language Development
age of 1 year , a child should be able to say one to three single words and try to copy words that other people say.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders notes that autistic children may have trouble developing language skills and understanding what other people say. According to March of Dimes, about 40% of autistic children do not speak at all.
Signs Of Autism In Babies And Toddlers
According to the CDC, every one in 68 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder.
As with any health issue, its best to get diagnosed as early as possible. The same goes for children with autism.
Many children dont get diagnosed until theyre older, even though experienced professionals are able to make reliable diagnoses by age 2. The average age of diagnosis is 4 years old, with some variance based on the type of disorder.
Heres the breakdown from the CDC:
- Autistic disorder: 3 years, 10 months
- Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified : 4 years, 1 month
- Asperger disorder: 6 years, 2 months
Its important to pay close attention to a childs behavior early on to see if theyre displaying the signs of autism, as early intervention is beneficial. And research also shows that parents generally notice developmental differences in their child even before he or she is a year old. If your parental instinct tells you something may be delayed in your child, its a very good idea to trust that and seek an expert opinion.
Theres no one medical test that can determine if a child has an autism spectrum disorder, but there are a number of behaviors and developmental delays that could indicate your child has autism.
Challenges Families Face In Overcoming Autism Symptoms
Often, as a family member of someone with autism, you can feel helpless in terms of assisting your loved one overcome the challenges theyre facing.
When your loved one is on the autism spectrum, hell likely face issues, challenges and problems on a daily basis. Issues that can regularly occur include:
- Facing additional conditions, such as gastrointestinal problems or epilepsy
- Finding it difficult to socialize with others
- Issues relating to sound, feel, touch and taste
- Having difficulties communicating with people
- Feeling generally frustrated at having to deal with peoples prejudice and ignorance about their condition
- Feeling ignored as a result of their autism
If youre caring for someone who is autistic, you may also be facing your own issues and problems, such as:
- Inability to cope at times
- Your own health issues
This is why its so incredibly important that both autistic people, their loved ones and caregivers find services, treatments and therapies that will provide assistance.
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Little Or No Imitatin Other People Of Pretending
They use a variety of functional actions like putting a sippy cup in their mouth to drink and a spoon in their mouth to eat.
From this, they learn to pretend in play they may offer you a sip with a cup or bottle, give Teddy bear a hug and cover him with a blanket or jiggle a pan with invisible stuff inside to pretend to cook.
Children with autism usually have strengths in using objects in solitary play.
If your child is showing little or no imitating of others, and is not beginning to pretend in play, it can be an early sign of autism.
Treatment Of Infantile Autism
Early intervention, if possible, can be crucial for a childs future quality of life. A study by Ben-Itzchak & Zachor analyzed how 25 subjects, aged 20-32 months, progressed after a year of intensive behavior intervention. They had a range of intellectual, cognitive, language, and social challenges, with some functioning at higher levels than others. All the subjects made significant progress at least in language skills.
Of course, although babies can show signs of ASD, theres a reason official conclusions usually arent made until theyre older. A 2019 study looked at 1,200 kids who had at least two evaluations during the study. Researchers measured the diagnostic stability, or the degree to which the diagnosis stuck, of patients diagnosed with ASD.
The diagnostic stability of diagnoses made around 12-13 months was 50%, 80% around 14 months, and 83% around 16 months. Clearly, the older a child is, the more certain doctors can be that he/she has ASD.
Treatment of infants who are autistic depends on what each child struggles with. Some kids with ASD are proficient in speech and language, while others arent. Some may have behavioral problems, like aggression, while others dont. Every child is unique, so every parents search for a solution is unique, too.
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Asd And Early Vocal Development
Early intervention is critical for positive outcomes for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder . Early identification of atypical behaviors that manifest during infancy could significantly impact age of diagnosis and subsequent initiation of intervention. Currently, the minimum age at which the majority of children with ASD can be reliably diagnosed with relative stability is two years , but according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control, many children are not diagnosed until preschool or kindergarten age . Research targeting early detection has primarily focused on behaviors exhibited during toddlerhood and preschool years after diagnosis has been made. Use of retrospective video analyses and studies of infant siblings of children diagnosed with ASD has allowed examination of possible indicators of ASD in the first year of life . Still, the most widely used autism screening tool for young children, the Modified Checklist for Autism Toddlers is recommended for ages 1630 months.
Strong Interest In Unusual Sensory Experiences
Babies with autism can show very strong interest in unusual sensory experiences, such as excessive rubbing of certain textures, looking out the side of their eye or closely inspecting a block or toy train as it rolls by, or licking objects.
If your child shows strong interest in unusual sensory experiences, this may be an early sign of autism.
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Doesn’t Respond To Your Call
Your child interacts with you and others and has normal play habits and sensory responses, but doesn’t respond to your voice when they have their back turned away from you. This may occur in children with autism along with many other symptoms that point to autism.
You may notice patterns of behavior such as those that involve a sensory processing disorder or a lasting and intense focus on objects or topics along with a lack of:
- babbling or use of words
- eye contact
If your child is simply not hearing you, there’s a good chance they are either very engaged in play or have some level of hearing loss. If you find that this is an ongoing issue, it is vital to bring up the issue with your child’s health care provider.
There may be no need to worry just yet that your child has autism.
The Importance Of Early Diagnosis
The American Academy of Pediatrics joins with the CDC in recommending screening at a young age to ensure early intervention and better developmental outcomes. In the U.S., the majority of autism costs are for adult rather than child services . With early diagnosis and treatment, the cost of care over a lifetime can be reduced by two-thirds.
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Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
The first symptoms are usually seen at about age 3:
Obsessive interests. Children with autism spectrum disorder often become overly interested in a single object or subject and devote all their time and attention to it. They tend to learn everything they can about that one topic and talk about it constantly, sometimes sounding like a junior expert.
Unusual speech. Children with autism spectrum disorder have good vocabularies but unusual ways of expressing themselves. They may talk in a monotone voice and do not recognize the need to control the volume of their voice, speaking loudly in libraries or movie theaters, for example.
Social isolation. Children with the condition have trouble making friends because they are awkward in social situations. They may stand too close or talk too loudly to others, who may see their behavior as odd or inappropriate.
Physical symptoms. They may have delayed motor skills and be clumsy when they try to ride a bike or play with others. Their body movements may seem stiff, and they may repeat motions, like rocking or spinning, again and again.
Oversensitivity. Children with the condition may be unusually upset by loud sounds, bright lights, strong smells, or being touched. They may also be easily upset by any change in schedules or routines.
Early Sounds In The Speech Blubs App
Another great way to help foster repetition and imitation skills in your infant or toddler is with the help of the Speech Blubs app. While there are many different sections of the app that you can use for different stages of development, the Early Sounds section will be most beneficial for learning animal sounds.
In the Early Sounds section, children that are only starting to verbalize are encouraged to imitate and generate sounds that animals, machines, dinosaurs, and other objects make. By incorporating contextually relevant videos, facts, and stories along with every word, children can start to associate different concepts with the sounds that they are learning.
The Early Sounds section was designed to engage children and their parents in playing with sounds. Its an enjoyable way to interact with children while simultaneously providing the stimulation needed for developing speech production.
P.S. If your kiddo is still not mimicking, you have nothing to worry about! Your little ones brain is still processing information. Keep in mind that your child gets the most benefits from practicing while you are present! All you have to do is be there, laugh along, mimic the child models, and help your kid understand the ideas behind the context.
Need more animal sounds activities? Read this article:
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Repeats Words And Phrases
Part of speech development is repeating words that we hear. When your baby is first learning words, you will probably read books and point out pictures together. The parent says, Dog, and the child repeats, Dog. The parent points to the fish and says, Fish, and the toddler repeats, Fish. This is normal. But consider a 2-3 year old who repeats arts of your sentences, instead of responding appropriately. Parent: Do you want some juice in your cup? Child: Cup. Parent: Its sunny outside today. Child: Today. This is called echolalia. The child basically echos you, or other people or things that they have heard. They may repeat lines from TV shows or song lyrics, instead of speaking in a conversational manner.