Hypersensitivity to sound manifests in multiple ways. A common misconception I often find is that a child is only hypersensitive when he covers his ears.
A number of kids are hypersensitive to sound, but don’t necessarily cover their ears. Hypersensitivity can be manifested by a refusal to go into certain areas.
In one family’s case, I met them years ago, when they inquired about AIT. The mom spoke about her daughter Em ‘s refusal to go inside a particular room especially when the aircon was on.
I didn’t see them until after more than a year, and the mom decided to contact me because she felt Em’s hypersensitivity had gotten worse.
“How bad?” I asked.
” Remember when I told you that Em refused to go into a certain room, whenever the aircon was on ? Em now refuses to go in two rooms now whenever the aircon is on. My husband and I were thinking about replacing the aircon in both rooms. ”
The mom continued to tell me about Em who was in the village community pool playing happily by herself, until a group of kids with parents decided to join in the fun.
Em was upset by the sudden presence of so many kids playing in the pool with her. Some of the kids were loud, as they were having fun in the water.
Without warning, Em went up to a little kid who was particularly noisy in the pool and hit her smack. This made the little kid cry.
Although the mom apologized for Em’s violent behavior and did her best to explain to the parents about her daughter’s autism.
Some of the parents and kids didn’t really understand or even accept her condition. Since Em was pretty and seemed to be just like any other kid, a number of the kids and parents seemed to attribute her violent behavior as something intentional.
They generally made the mom and daughter feel unwelcome in the pool area. They kept giving her dirty looks the entire time.
In the end she decided to take her Em out of the pool, feeling very sad that people there misunderstood her child.
* People who are unaware of what autism is automatically attribute the bad behavior to bad parenting.
** The mom went through with AIT that year. Em’s hypersensitivity decreased. Last I heard, the family was happy that they didn’t have to replace their air conditioning anymore.