2 1/2 year old who is overwhelmingly sensitive to others crying

by Rebecca

I have a 31 month old son who has recently (within the past three months) become VERY sensitive to other kids screaming and/or crying. He is at the point of being inconsolable. He breaks down in tears and starts to scream. He begins hyperventilating and just completely looses it. He will cry "hold me, hold me!" but even being held does not console him.We have to physically remove him from the area and when brought back to the area and the same kid/kids are there even though they may now by quiet he gets worked up again in the fear that they might begin to cry.

I, and his teachers at the daycare, are at our wits ends. We are trying to teach him to move as far away from the crying child as he can, cover his ears, do not scream, labeling his emotion/fear, etc. Nothing is working and the problem is getting far worse than it was three months ago. HELP!

Other than the above problem, he is very shy when meeting new people or even people that he doesn't see on a normal everyday basis, but intellectually wise he is high above the rest of the kids in his class--knows all his colors, numbers up to 18, knows his alphabet and can pick out certain letters, etc.

I am at the point of pulling him from daycare just so he can be in a calm quiet home,but that seems to defeat the purpose of socializing and working through this. I just want him to be relaxed and be able to breathe at school and not be having these episodes. Advise????????????

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Nov 28, 2015
Any help
by: Soniya

Hi, my 31 month old boy has recently started these anxious behavior toward other kids.he cry his lungs out , the moment he see a group of kids playing together(even quietly).

He has always been shy towards adults but was always friendly towards other kids. There is no more sharing as well. He doesn't want their toys and don't want to give his as well. He just says"other kids are not good."

Rest, he is quite intelligent for his age.
I will really appreciate if you could tell me what helped your child.


Nov 07, 2009
by: Sarah K

My almost 5 year old was dx with SPD at the age of 3 and struggles with auditory defensiveness. He is almost at the end of an 18 week Listening Program that we hope will help. It is to basically train his brain that all sounds are not frightening. He has been going through a set back recently and we are struggling through it. Someone mentioned a CD that is used at night,I would guess, that helps them relax. Can you tell me what it is called as I am greatly interested. Thanks.

Aug 15, 2009
I can relate....
by: Alisa

I can relate.....

My daughter seems to be over sensitive and reactive to people emotions, facial expression, body language.

It's like her brain is set to hyper sensitive. I've recently found a Child Phycologist that has helped me with my 4 year old. In my first session with him he described exactly what I feel my daughter is going threw and I put her on his waiting list, she is finally getting help from his female phycologist in the practice next week. They have a web site called 'securestart' maybe you might be able to find some thing to help you with you son on the web site, I know he has information on there he told me to read the stuff on his wed site.

They believe in a therapy called theraplay taking the children back to more basic level of play and help create a more secure relationship between parent and child. He gave me a music CD that's helps childrens brain relax so that when the child wakes up the brain is in a more relaxed state and is less likely for the child to become over stimulated as easy. The music is classical like mozart ect music not relaxation music like water or sound ect.

Aug 11, 2009
sensitive to sounds
by: w

I don't know if your son has SPD from your post, but if so, it sounds like he is auditory defensive. My 32 month old daughter has "sensory issues" and is currently receiving OT and Speech therapy through EI in our home. She does attend daycare in a private home setting. At times she is very oversensitive to sounds i.e. she cries and covers her ears even if we call her name sometimes.

We've read a lot of books on SPD, that describe sound as actually being painful to kids with auditory issues. Some recommendations from the books and our OT are to give your child an area that they can go to feel safe. Maybe a pop-up tent or a little area that contains things that make him feel secure. You could try earplugs (if he'll wear them).

Maybe the daycare would be willing to accommodate your son since the teacher seems willing to try and help you. If not, I don't know your situation as far as the need for childcare, but if it's not working out maybe he could take a break from childcare and possibly attend some playgroups with you, that will still allow for socialization, but that you could easily remove him from if it becomes too much for him.

If you haven't read it already a good book to read is Raising a Sensory Smart Child by Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske. Hope this is helpful, and best of luck to you. I know how overwhelming and frustrating it can be, but hang in there.

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