Hyper-Sensitive To Sound
(San Jose, California)
I just came across your site tonight and am overwhelmed with the amount of information and with the confirmation that my daughter is not alone out there, nor am I as a parent.
Article after article kept my head nodding "Yep, that's my Vanessa!" My daughter, Vanessa, is almost 21 months and has been a very challenging child.
Here's a brief overview... From day 1, she was mad and angry at the world. She would cry and scream forever. Once she hit the solid-food period, she would only eat a small handful of items. She could not, and still cannot, be left with a sitter and to prove that, I have stretch marks on my arm from carrying her for hours.
When she was about 15 months old, I fought with my state's Early Start program to have an evaluation for her. My first few phone calls ended with a laugh in my face (literally, the lady laughed that I spent my time to call over "nothing") with an "Oh honey, don't worry about her. She is just one year old - give her time." But I knew different! I kept calling and finally got an evaluation. They agreed that there were some delays/issues and now we are now in speech therapy and OT weekly.
Over the last few weeks, Vanessa has started to react to sounds in a way she never use to before. She will now FREAK out, covering her ears, shaking her head, with a look of pure panic and fear. These sounds are all ones she has heard before; the garbage truck, the dog walking in the house, the house heater, a whistle in the next room, etc. She has always startled easily, but not with this panic and fear. I usually hold her on my lap and hug her to get her to calm down, but even talking about "that sound" brings back the panic and fear, even hours later.
I am at a total loss of what to do about this. I have no idea how to help her except for trying to keep her calm in those situations.
Do you have any ideas how I can help calm her fears. Additionally, she always hears the sounds before I do, so is already in a panic when I finally realize what she hears. Any advice you have would be wonderful.