How Can I Help My Child with Auditory Stimulation?

The diagnosis of autism can be daunting for any parent, but that’s just the beginning. Parents need to work with their doctor and physical therapist to develop a course of action to help their child. The earlier the therapy begins the better chance of behavior modification succeeding. Sounds are part of our everyday world and sometimes a child with autism has trouble processing this auditory stimulation. For most of us who have developed “normally” many of these sounds seem pedestrian and we even become immune to some of them, but for a child with autism every day these sounds are a challenge. Our noisy world with different machines, animals, and people can negatively affect a child diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Parents need to develop the proper course for their child so therapy can be done at home and in a fun environment.


Sounds and the Autistic Child

During our everyday lives we encounter many sounds, some are loud some are soft but for the majority of us we ignore a lot of these since we are accustomed to them and our brain processes them accordingly. But for the autistic child, their brain has not developed properly and has a tough time processing these sounds and can have an adverse effect on them. In an article written for articles .com, they point out that an autistic child that hears a sound, such as a vacuum cleaner or garbage disposal that frightens them it can create a negative learning environment. For instance, if an autistic child is learning how to use the toilet and the flushing sound scares them that might create a negative experience and hamper the potty training. It is important to figure out these sounds that aggravate or scare autistic children and eliminate them, if possible. If a child is fixated on a sound, such as a vacuum cleaner, a parent may try to incorporate that by having that child help vacuum. Since auditory stimulation can create a good learning environment and a negative environment, caregivers must find and replace the frightening sounds with others to benefit an autistic child and cultivate a good indicator signal environment. As the article points out, it’s a trial and error experiment with different sounds and the autistic child to figure out which ones will work and which ones won’t. There are plenty of aids available to parents to help their child with auditory stimulation.

Finding the Right Therapy Aide for Your Child

The main purpose of auditory stimulation is to stimulate and promote sensory processing in your child. Vibroacoustic therapy uses sound that can be heard as well as felt. It’s the sound vibrations that children with sensory processing disorders desire. Vibroacoustic therapy can decrease anxiety and tension while increasing relaxation and overall well-being. An item is simple as a Wave Drum can help. It has colorful beads inside and makes interesting sounds when struck with the drumstick. A great toy that promotes auditory stimulation is the Twirly Whirly Baby Toy. When turned, shaken or rolled colorful beads cascade down creating pleasing sounds. Musical Bead Chains are a great way to help children process auditory stimuli. It comes in two versions with different combination of options for lights and vibration.

Another great way to help a child who has difficulty with auditory processing is to incorporate music into their therapy. The Motorized Glitter Roll Music Box is an innovative toy, that when activated by a capability switch that plays music while glitter and multicolored pom-poms tumble in the cylinder. The Music Box is a simple little toy that plays for lively tunes and can have up to four capability switches connected to it. Each switch can play a different tune while the music box flashes lights. Bongo Drums continue the music themed therapy by allowing two capability switches to activate the stylish wooden bongos. The base and sides of the bongos can be cleaned with any mild household multipurpose cleaner that is nonabrasive. The toy manufacturer Melissa & Doug offer preschoolers the Melissa & Doug Band in a Box. It’s a musical set that has everything children need. It includes a tambourine, cymbals, maracas, clacker, tone blocks, and a triangle. It’s a great set for one child or a whole marching band!! They also offer the Beginner Band Set. It can expose children to a variety of different musical sounds and is a great way to get everyone involved. Almost every home has an iPod, so what better way to incorporate music into therapy but to use our iPods. The Adapted Six Switch iHome Docking Station is a great way to allow the user to play, pause, skip tracks, and adjust volume using large switches.

Since some autistic children can be affected negatively by sound, Califone offers the Hearing Safe Hearing Protector Headphone. It blocks out external noise by completely covering the outer ear and has a noise reduction rating of 37 dB. It can allow children who are negatively affected by loud noise to possibly see a parade or maybe even a firework show. Understanding your child is important before undertaking any of these loud or noisy endeavors, but the use of ear protection may make these sounds less threatening. Trial and error is usually the best way to determine if your child can tolerate these potentially threatening sounds. Start small and work from there and of course do so in a safe fun environment.


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