Friday, March 15, 2019

10 Ways to Help Your Child with Noise Sensitivity

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Tips and strategies for helping kids who are sensitive to noises. Great ideas to help with noise sensitivity and teach your child to cope with loud noises.

Does your child get overwhelmed by noises?

Do they frequently tell you "it's too loud!" or that they can hear something that you can't?

Well, it's possible that they're sensitive to noises. 

If you think your child has noise sensitivities, then you're going to love these 10 strategies and tips to help your child manage noise sensitivities.

Noise sensitivity in kids and how to help your child cope with loud noises

Noise Sensitivity in Kids: How to Help Your Child

These ten tips are a great way to be both proactive and reactive when it comes to your child's noise sensitivities. They'll hopefully help you child avoid potential meltdowns before they occur or, at the bare minimum, give them the tools and strategies they need to cope with the noises around them.

1. Wear noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds

Noise-cancelling or reducing headphones are handy to have. Your child can wear them at school during class time when they need help focusing on schoolwork or during assemblies, which often get quite loud.

They're also great for sporting events or concerts where the sounds is much louder than other places.

2. Teach your child to cover their ears with their hands

Covering your ears with your hands is a quick way to cope when things get too loud. Double up the noise reduction by placing your hands on top of your child's, if needed.

3. Give your child advance warning, if possible

Going to vacuum or test fire alarms at home? Tell your child before you start these tasks. Giving them a warning can be so helpful. Doing so allows your child to find a quiet place or to grab their headphones.

Same thing goes for school...ask your child's teacher to give your child a head up if there is going to be a fire drill (if possible), assembly, or concert at school.

4. Identify your child's sound triggers

Knowing what sounds or noises your child is extra sensitive to can make all the difference. Once you have identified them, you can help your child avoid situations with those particular sound triggers or give them advance warning that they might hear those particular sounds soon.

For example, hand dryers in public washrooms are often a sound trigger for many kids. If you know it's a trigger for your child, opt to use paper towels instead of the hand dryer.

5. Distract your child with a fidget or other calm down tool

By providing a fidget or calm down tool to your child, you are helping them build coping strategies and helping them learn to tolerate being in noisy environments. The fidgets can help distract them from noises that might normally bother them.

6. Cover up problematic triggers like automatic flushing toilets

Public washrooms are the worst! Between the automatic flushing toilets and the super noisy hand dryers, it's a sensory overload zone.

One thing you can do is carry a package of Post-it notes with you. You can use them to cover the sensors on automatic flushing toilets.

7. Use a social story to teach strategies to cope with loud noises

I love using social stories! They are a great way to teach skills to your autistic/hyperlexic child.

So if your child gets overwhelmed by loud noises, then you'll want to check out this free printable "when things are too loud" social story for kids. This story includes coping strategies for your child to try when things get too loud.

8. Use white noise to soften the noise in your surroundings

You can drown out any undesirable noises, such as a vacuum for instance, with a white noise machine, a radio, or even a fan.

9. Offer breaks and/or a quiet calm down space

When you are in a noisy environment, be sure to offer your child breaks. Or consider setting up a calm down corner so that your child has a safe and quiet place to retreat to when things get too loud.

10. Visit public places during non-peek times

Just ask my husband how much I hate being in a public place when it's busy! It's often too much for me. So avoid the sensory overwhelm by visiting during non-peek hours and days. You can check for peek hours and dates right in Google, which is super helpful.

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Noise sensitivity in kids and how to help your child cope with loud noises