Auditory Sensitivity - Do you always know?

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GoldenMom
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11 Nov 2019, 6:38 pm

Questions for those of you who are more sensitive to loud noises:

Do you always know that it is the noisy environment that is bothering you? Or is it that sometimes you just know something is/or is going to drive you crazy?

My sensitivity is mainly to high pitch sounds and certain frequencies. I never really lose control in noisy environments.

But a couple of days ago, my son was is clear distress about watching a live show that he had seen in the past without any complaint. He cried in anticipation he shut down. At the time, I didn’t know it could be the noise because this was not the first time he saw it. I patiently let him have his quiet moment, which took a long time. But we all went in to see the show. I distracted him with my phone and he played games throughout the show.

Today, he told me he doesn’t like the noise the crowd makes at certain points of the show. He said that he would do better if he had headphones.

He was not able to tell me any of that the day he had the issue. All he said is that he didn’t like the show.

Any ideas? How can I tell if it is really the noise? (some other stimuli? Multiple stimuli?)

He says that he is used to the cafeteria noise, but that some noises hurt his ears. But I don’t really see him covering his ears very frequently. But then again, I don’t do that either when I hear the high frequency and distorted sounds. I typically grimace.

He sometimes has a hard time explaining such things to me, so I’m trying to figure this out as best as I can....


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Donald Morton
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11 Nov 2019, 6:46 pm

Loud crowd noises are physically uncomfortable and mentally distressing. Loud sharp sounds cause physical pain. Large crowd chaotic noise must be escaped, borderline panic attack. So yea, for me it is easy to know.


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Mountain Goat
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11 Nov 2019, 7:21 pm

Something I have always found uncomfortable or almost unbearable is lots of people talking at the same time in a room. Makes me want to shut my ears and cry... Or just run out. Is too much. If everyone is quiet it is ok. It does depend on the room and the noise.


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Dimples123
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11 Nov 2019, 8:08 pm

For me it's like I hear literally everything.



SharonB
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11 Nov 2019, 9:13 pm

I took my kids to a trampoline place. I knew it was noisy and was telling myself I was fine - it was just loud. Then I realized my stress level was near sky high. Sooo… the noise? the venue? I couldn't say, but I was seriously agitated. I guess I could ask for an experiment:
* Noise and crowds: agitation level 7
* Noise (ask crowds to leave): agitation level ?
* Crowds (turn off noise): agitation level ?
* Neither (no crowds, no noise, just kids on the trampoline): Fun?

I'm definitely one of those who doesn't recognize my stress...



PoseyBuster88
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11 Nov 2019, 10:25 pm

I didn't realize before reading about noise sensitivity that it was a "thing." I just knew I would feel sick (headache, nausea, something like that) sometimes during concerts, crowded parties, etc. and feel that I needed to leave. I thought I was just an introvert and crowds were the stressor. Didn't connect my physical discomfort to noise until recently.

Got hi-fidelity earplugs and they definitely help. Usually things are still louder than I like, and I still don't like crowds, but they help. They don't block out the feeling of low tones making your body vibrate though, which I find creepy/uncomfortable. But it takes the stress level from an 8 or 9 down to a 6 if the people are "contained" (seats in a concert or similar).

Earplugs don't help me with parties though, since the chaos of "mingling" is awful and difficult to follow. In that scenario the earplugs are bad, since they handicap me even more when trying to follow one conversation among many and respond appropriately.


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losingit1973
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11 Nov 2019, 11:04 pm

My son and I both have sound sensitivities. Certain sounds at certain volumes can be an instant trigger, but the most stressful is not high volume but multiple sources. Each source is percieved at the same volume, and trying to follow just one is near impossible. It becomes unbearable and a quick exit is needed to avoid a meltdown. Stamina is better on some days making predictability difficult.


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PoseyBuster88
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11 Nov 2019, 11:35 pm

losingit1973 wrote:
My son and I both have sound sensitivities. Certain sounds at certain volumes can be an instant trigger, but the most stressful is not high volume but multiple sources. Each source is percieved at the same volume, and trying to follow just one is near impossible. It becomes unbearable and a quick exit is needed to avoid a meltdown. Stamina is better on some days making predictability difficult.


That is such a good description of how I perceive crowds. I can't filter out the "background" talking. End up lip reading until I have to make an excuse and leave.


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GoldenMom
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12 Nov 2019, 8:43 am

Ok, so it seems there is a range here. Some definitely know it’s the sound (volume, pitch, etc), others just have the sensation that something is not right but not necessarily can pinpoint the source.

My impression so far of what happens to my son is the acoustics, like if sound is reverberating inside a closed environment. Like screaming and crowd noises in a gym, and crowd shouting inside the theater. He doesn’t like high pitch noises either, but I don’t think he loses control if it’s like an alarm for a brief period of time.

It is so hard to prepare/prevent/understand what’s going on when he can’t really explain it to me...

For me, if I’m in a very big crowd and they are randomly walking (like in an amusement park), I get a bit anxious. In my mind I sort of block them. I don’t lose control, but it prevents me from taking pictures a lot of the times. And I love taking pictures. But with lots of people walking next to me, getting my phone out to take a picture feels like a huge ordeal. If I’m able to recognize that this is what’s happening, then I can make myself take a deep breath and do what I actually want to do (take pic, stop, whatever it is). But I don’t always recognize the source of stress/anxiety, be that crowd, sound, etc.


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- RAADS-R: 134 (cut off for ASD diagnosis is >=65)
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Diagnosed with ASD Level 1 on 10/28/19 (Better late than never)

Mom to 9 y/o boy diagnosed with ASD and ADHD on 11/15/19


jimmy m
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12 Nov 2019, 8:58 am

Stress in cumulative in nature. So the sensitivity to auditory stimulation is a function of the amount of stress already existing in the body.

One method of interpreting conversation in a crowded environment is similar to lip reading. If you focus on the lips of the person talking, you can interpret their conversation much better. Even if you cannot read lips, if you watch the lips of a person, the clarity of the conversation improves significantly.



Edna3362
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12 Nov 2019, 10:09 am

No. Didn't realized until I found out that most people have sensory filters.
I've mainly realized this when someone explained that they don't sense things for most of the time nor had a chance of ever distracting them.


How I realized that my sensory system might've been different was through developing a form of misophonia around age 9.
Except I do not know why is this, except plain sheer intolerance, as opposed to pain where most of those with sensory sensitivities might've figured.

The misophonia part is gone by the time I became a teen in my case, but the sensory input's the same.


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harry12345
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13 Nov 2019, 3:48 pm

What gets me is not the volume of the environment, but how many different noise sources there are.

Standing next to a pneumatic drill. Pah! Piece of cake.

Supermarket with radio, kids, tills, squeeky wheels, talking, trolleys clattering, doors banging ...... etc. Where is the exit.

A very loud single source of noise is much easier for me to handle than standing next to a one-man-band.



Joe90
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13 Nov 2019, 7:10 pm

I hate the sound of babies and small children. I can filter other sounds out (like lots of people talking in a room or loud music) but not babies or small children. Might be more of a misophonia thing with me though.


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GoldenMom
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15 Nov 2019, 4:02 pm

The sound of lots of people talking at the same time is a tough one for me if it’s a confined environment. Doesn’t mean it needs to be indoors, but lots of conversations of people you know, like a party or get together and everyone is talking at the same time. And that’s how my family normally gathers. There are lots of us, and they talk a lot and all at the same time.

How that doesn’t bother everyone else is beyond my understanding.


_________________
- RAADS-R: 134 (cut off for ASD diagnosis is >=65)
- CASD: 20 (cut off for ASD >=14)
- SRS-2: T score = 68

Diagnosed with ASD Level 1 on 10/28/19 (Better late than never)

Mom to 9 y/o boy diagnosed with ASD and ADHD on 11/15/19