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OT Corner: Surviving Sound Sensitivity – A Five Step Plan

[Source: Autism Advocate Parenting Magazine]

by Lindsey Biel, M.A., OTR/L

Michelle has an exquisite ear for pitch, melody and rhythm. At age eight, she has already performed in violin competitions, can play on her piano a song she hears only once or twice, and loves drumming to the music of her favorite rock band. However. if a balloon pops. kids shout at recess or a baby cries, she simply cannot tolerate it. Busy restaurants, birthday parties and even family gatherings are a nightmare for her.

Jaden loves school, but he’s starting to fall behind. It’s hard to listen to the teacher when there is so much noise! He can hear the other students writing and the kids at the back of the classroom whispering. The sound of chair legs scraping on the floor feels like a dentist drill hitting a nerve. Even though he seeks out the quietest spot at recess and in the lunchroom, he still feels besieged by noise all day long. He finds it exhausting. If the speech teacher asks Juliana to look at her one

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