Almost 3 yrs old ... possibly showing signs of Auditory Defensiveness?

I'm reading this checklist because my daughter who is almost three has extreme fears of specific things; IE: hairdryer, public bathrooms (because of the loud flushing toilets or automatic hand dryers), tractor, vacuum, hand mixer, drills. Pretty much anything that looks mechanical and may have a plug will make her nervous. If taken off guard by them, she will erupt into tears. Some times even shaking she is so scared.


She is very social, interactive, and enjoys playing with other kids. We try not to startle her with any of the above things mentioned. If we are going to use any of them, we forewarn her. She will often go to her room, close the door and put on music (loudly!) or cover herself in her favorite blanket. She sucks her thumb, and sometimes I have caught her rubbing the corner of her blanket on her ear. Other than that, she is a perfectly behaved, well mannered, good natured little girl who always seems to be smiling.

I'm concerned because she does have problems with some of her speech (she still can not pronounce some letters) and I am not sure if it is normal or not. Any ideas if this sounds normal or if she may need to be evaluated for a SPD?

Comments for Almost 3 yrs old ... possibly showing signs of Auditory Defensiveness?

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Apr 24, 2010
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my experience
by: Anonymous

I used to babysit a girl (for 3 years) who was very similar to what you're saying... frightened easily and severely from loud noises but otherwise a happy, typically developing child. She is almost 6 now and still fears many of those same loud noises (and costumed characters?) but otherwise is just fine. I'd definitely have your child evaluated but it may be something a therapist could teach your child to deal with. And I agree the language isn't supposed to be right on by three years. Good luck!

Apr 24, 2010
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Similar to my son
by: Bonnie

So my son started showing signs of auditory defensiveness about the same time age wise. He had always had issues with mixers and drills but I thought it was just a development thing since he was young. But then it started with the public bathrooms and his brother (who was 6 months at the time) crying in the car or the bathtub. He wasn't saying hardly any words at all so I was concerned there was actually something going on suddenly with his hearing. So after a visit to my ped and an ent we learned that his hearing was fine just sensitive. I was then reading a book about highly sensitive children (The Highly Sensitive Child, Elain Aron) and so understood completely. It wasn't until several other things became issues and I began to look back over his time as an infant that I suspected spd and had him evaluated. There were many things he did as an infant that are characteristics of spd. As far as your child's speech there are many sounds almost three year olds shouldn't be saying. There are several sounds that are not developmentally expected until 4, 5, 6 and 7 years of age. I am sure you could find out which ones those are on the internet. I have them in several places but can't get them at this time. Sorry! And good luck!

Apr 23, 2010
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sounds like SPD and Speech
by: Anonymous

Given my experience with my children, my oldest was non verbal at three and now 16 (autism) but is doing well in HS:)) I would recommend full evaluation by specially trained OT (for the sensory) and a speech therapist. It is better to have her speech tested now than to wait until she is older.

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