When my son was three years old, he developed noise sensitivity. Noises that didn’t bother him at the age of 2 and younger, bothered him at the age of 3. The sudden onset of laughter would make him panick. Whenever his father and I had conversations where our volumes went up, he would have a very negative reaction. In front of him, we had to make sure our tone would not cause him to get frantic.
At age 4 we tried auditory integration therapy. At that time it was one week’s worth of different sound frequencies delivered through headphones. If you called audiologists, they did not do anything for hyperacusis till the age of atleast 8. I found someone who did AIT whose own twin sons had Autism. Many occupational therapists are the ones to provide this therapy now. The cost of one week of therapy was about one thousand dollars.
At the age of 5 years old, since he loved basketball, we registered him to play basketball. He could not stand the buzzers and whistles. He would play in court covering one ear and then handling the ball with the other hand. After one season we stopped. The problem with noise could be found in the school setting. When he entered Kinder, you bet it was hard for him to hear that fire alarm! He wanted to stop going to school because of that. Then he memorized that the principal would have them before the 15th of the month. His anxiety was so high that he wasted brain power to memorize that schedule. It did take a village to help him. My sister was busy googling and got him headphones.
Sometimes he wore the noise cancelling headphones, other times he didn’t. But it was always in his backpack. This summer at the age of 9, he asked us to sign him up again for basketball. He felt he could handle the noise. Guess what?! He did! His love for basketball was even greater than his anxiety about all the noise! Thanks to http://www.quilliancenter.org/ for having such a great basketball program! This was the program we signed him up with when he was 5 and now at the age of 9.
We are so proud of him!