Auditory processing or not?

by mary
(urbana il)

My five year old son will often hold his hands over his ears and command "be quiet" even when he is not being talked to directly. Is this a way of expressing a general "overload" of sensory information? His therapists and teachers are confused, and don't like to be told to be quiet by a young child. I don't think he means to be rude, I think he is really defending himself from some perceived onslaught of input that is too much for him to handle, I just don't know how he's experiencing it. I would appreciate any suggestions I might share with him as to how to handle his need to communicate to us what is really going on.

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