Thursday, August 24, 2006

Clinic Notes: Autism and Hearing

Parents and professionals expect auditory processing problems when they see a child with autism cover his or her ears with their hands. Other children with autism act as if they are deaf. Many children with autism, who have partially recovered, report sensory distortions. The sound of a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer may be so loud that it frightens the child with autism. A single voice may be so soft that it is not heard, while several voices, as in a classroom, may be deafening. Temple Grandin’s governess used to punish her when she was a child by popping a paper bag. In my clinic we often run an ABA program to desensitize a child to aversive sounds. Desensitization also works well for the child with autism or other neuropsychological disorders who are distracted by sounds when they are trying to concentrate. Go to my website for a desensitization program for your child.

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