Auditory Hypersensitivity and Preschool

by Rachel
(Massachusetts)

My daughter is 2 1/2 years old and has just begun the transition process from Early Intervention to Preschool. She has been diagnosed with Apraxia of Speech and Sensory Processing Disorder. She has also been misdiagnosed with PDD-NOS. She has made great progress with her speech at home with EI. She has not made progress with her sensory disorder. We have not found any truly successful coping mechanisms for her auditory hypersensitivity and because of this, we avoid birthday parties, church, playgrounds, playgroups, etc., where even one child/adult/environmental sound is too loud/or abrasive to my daughter and may cause her to shut down.


When she shuts down (eyes close, body shakes, cries, or body goes limp or coma like), she becomes unresponsive or uncooperative for up to two days. I'm worried that placing her in a preschool classroom will throw her over the edge to the point where she will not benefit from one on one ST or OT at school. Yet, we don't have the finances to give her the therapy privately. She won't wear ear muffs and because she constantly mouths inedible objects, ear plugs are not an option for her.

What, if anything, can we do now in the next five months to prepare her for preschool? Are there any other alternatives to preschool that I'm not thinking of? I know that certain sounds are painful for her and are in a sense like torture. I don't want to send her someplace where she will be in pain or learn behaviors that may present even bigger problems come kindergarten. Please help.

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Jun 16, 2015
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Movement is key...
by: Anonymous

I'm a sensory integration occupatiional therapist. Make sure you provide plenty of movement experiences for your child. Swinging is the best and especially a tire swing which allows for rotation. Encourage your child to use whistles while swinging. Also let her use a magnaphone . Let her control the sound levels. The vestibular and auditory nerve originate from the same bone in the inner ear. By working with both systems this should help w hypersensitivity. Also listen to Baroque for Modulation while swinging and during a nap or to fall asleep by. Main thing is to allow your daughter to control the input be it movement or sound.

Jul 10, 2013
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Montessori
by: Sue

A Montessori school would suit this child more than a regular school as they tend to be quieter environments and the children are taught to be sensitive and respectful of those around them.

Sep 27, 2011
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Technology overload
by: Anonymous

These children are working on a different vibration level & made NOT to integrate with the rest of the world YET. When the time is right they will. A lot of people are trying TO STOP these kids by giving them medicine. I work with a lot of autistic kids; I don't like this word because its spectrum is so wide. They are "dormant". They are being guided spiritually at a different frequency this is why at time they are completely non responsive. They are made not to trust anyone. When they look in a gaze in empty space, they are being spoken to. They avoid people eyes NOT to see.

People talk about awakening. Some kids are uncontrollable; they are bull dozers sent to destroy the rules put in place to control us in wrong directions. Others are sent to smooth things down.They have healing abilities & are full of Love. They are more gifted than you think & are NOT RETARDED. We are talking about indigos & crystal children: old souls

As a hypnotherapist, I am seeing a 13 years old. He looks at me straight in the eyes now. He knows I am a Lightworker with good intentions. I had to stop the sessions for a while because of transference; he had stopped his progress so that he could carry on coming. After a few months, he is back. In 2 sessions his stammer has considerably reduced. He can walk & control his body better& eats with good manners ?Hypnosis was not always used. He is trapped inside a body he cannot control & his words cannot come out the way he wants. BUT, I do believe that he is intact inside: I taught him to use MIND OVER THE MATTER & it works.

The music Journey to the temple by Llewellyn is calming but it also works on metaphysical levels by altering states of consciousness & awareness. It has 7 chakras tracks blended together by natural sounds. He cries each time he listens to the heart chakra track. I also use Reiki Gold by Llewellyn as background in my practice. He wants a copy & asked if I could help him reduce the loud sounds. He said the teachers are "shouting" so he is scared. He is not in a special school and struggles a lot. I will make him regulate all sounds by making him visualise a steam train with a boiler constantly expanding with the pressure. He?ll see it stretched, straining & threatening to burst & erupt like a volcano. I will see 2 instruments near the boiler: a gauge with numbers & a large wheel with a handle protruding out which is turned anticlockwise to decrease the pressure. He?ll take a deep breath & turn this wheel back to reduce the sound at will.

I came across a site with free music download for kids with auditory Hypersensitivity.I listened to it & had a massive headache as I was being aggressed.Don?t trust them, they are meant to damage & suppress your child. I am very attuned to my body &receptive to the slight change. I have not been to the doctor for more than 11 years! These kids are placed with parents that are meant to be. Give them a lot of Love. There are big changes to come. You have a SPECIAL child.

Dec 05, 2010
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Technology overload
by: Anonymous

Has anyone stopped to think, maybe these kids are on to something, maybe the world IS too loud. Maybe the whole world is on information overload. I remember a time when the family only had one t.v. in the whole house, and it only came on after supper. Which was eaten with the entire family sitting at the table. The telephone was connected to the wall, with no caller I.D. and usually in the kitchen, where mom was always preparing something to eat. Children were to stay outside, where they would only be exposed to natures sounds, unless you lived in the city, and we all made up games to play from our own imagination. Maybe, if mom and dad could turn off the t.v. and turn off their cell phones and give these children a quieter environment, they (the parents) too, would be better off for it. Please note. I'm NOT faulting the parents, I'm faulting progress of technology. We're ALL at fault for buying into it. I'm no exception. As a person with auditory hypersensitivity, I have just found it better to cope with when I go back to the simpler ways.

Oct 28, 2009
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Listening therapies?
by: Anonymous

My son has some auditory defensiveness, but not to the extend your little one has :( Even I am worried about preschool (same stage you are--transitioning out of birth to 3). My OT has mentioned listening therapy before. She is not personally trained in it (or to an extent she feels comfortable providing it) but one of her consultants is. We have talked about possibly trying it, but b/c it isn't a big issue for him right now we haven't done so.

All I know is that it is a series of noise activities designed to gradually desensitize that over-excited area of the brain. I would look into it. Good luck!

Oct 21, 2009
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What's your gutt say?
by: Anonymous

These are those times when your gut instinct should come first. What level of anxiety your daughter suffers sounds incredibly serious. The truth is she may not be ready for this transition. My daughter is also Auditory Defensive and we've always had to back teachers off from their schedule. Desensitization is a very individual process. My daughter had progress and set-backs, but usually, especially when she was young pushing too soon set her back. I know it's scary to think your daughter will have this struggle and have problems in school. It is and was painful for us. But our daughter's safety and comfort had to come first. When she's ready she will do well, if she's not it will only be a source of more anxiety

Oct 21, 2009
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Any other coping techniques?
by: Rachel

We've tried headphones, pressure vests, jumping, deep pressure massage, Wilbarger brushing protocol, and pool therapy. Nothing has worked consistently and reliably. The brushing actually made her sensitivity worse. We are starting listening therapy but I don't know how successful we will be because she doesn't tolerate headphones on her ears. Are there any other thoughts to try?

Oct 21, 2009
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brush treatment
by: Anonymous

talk w/ the O.T they used a brushing treatment on my daughter to help redirect some of her sound sensitivity. it does help we are back at church.

Oct 20, 2009
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hypersensitivivity and preschool
by: Anonymous

Hi Rachel,

I joined this group because my 10 yr old autistic son has severe hypersensitivity to noises. He is now able to tolerate vacuums and blenders but now it's more, he is sensitive to tone of voice and kids crying and screaming and such. I did Auditory Integration Therapy 2 summers ago. It kind of helped but I now have understood that loud noises make him fearful. I think it is the sudden onset of the noise and he has emotional regulation too. he can't regulate his emotions....I am still racking my brain on how to help him with this and am considering on cantacting an SIDspecialist, like Carol Krankowitz ....who wrote the out of sync child book. there is I think another book called building bridges. I haven't read that one though.

I was thinking of having him wear noise reduction headphones to help. I sincerely think, that although he does have a crystal clear speech he is definitely a hyperlistener, and has acute hearing.

Good Luck!

Oct 20, 2009
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by: Anonymous

Hi I am not sure what state you live in, but here in Missouri we have Early Childhood Special Ed. through the school system. It is a Preschool program geared for kids with learning delays. You have to contact Parents as Teachers to be screened for this which you can't do until they are 3, however they will get them started as soon as the testing is complete. This also sets your child up with an IEP which makes the transition to kindergarten easier. You may want to check into it and see if you have this program available. My son went through it and it helped him alot! Good luck!

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