Alex has super sensitive hearing with his autism.
The other boys are only bothered by sound and noise
occasionally, especially when out in public, but they
seem to handle it much better than Alex. I remember
the first time we noticed this was a problem. We took
the whole family into Lowe's when the triplets were about
4 or 5 years old. Alex cried and held his ears
until we left the store. It took another trip there for
us to figure out it was the humming of the fluorescent lights...
something we normally don't even notice! Alex again covered
his ears and cried! We avoided family trips to Lowes and he
seemed fine but a few years later, the sensitivity seemed wide
spread, and he would live most of his days covering his
ears, which made doing things with his hands difficult,
interfered with school, eating, etc.
Months later I learned about the benefits of a sound
muffling headset from an autism parent chat room
and that helped immensely! Ironic thing...
we got them at Lowe's. haha.
Well, here we are 15-18 years later and he's still wearing
them! He only takes them off to get into the tub, but
compensates for this by laying back and submerging the back
of his head in the water, including his ears! I go in and slip
the headset off his head after he's fallen asleep at night
and recently he's left them off all night.
Because of the constant warm, moist environment around his
ears, we have to be careful of yeast infections. We have several
pairs that we rotate so they can dry out and have resorted to
a prescription cream, Ciclopirox Olamine, to keep his skin
healthy. Kind of crazy, huh? His head has even
grown with an indented shape around his ears!
Lately, I've been trying to gradually get him to keep the headset
off at home. This works only if he's in the family room alone
and there isn't any noise around, like television or vacuum.
At first he could only last a few minutes, but with lots of
praise, he's gotten better and better.
I purposefully turned the sound down on his iPad so he
would feel like he could hear it better without the headset.
He's been doing very well! A few times he let me take the
headset off when he got into bed, but that only works if his
brothers are already settled and quiet. :)
This past weekend he went almost the whole time with it off.
One never knows how much of it is habit or a security thing
and how much is really a sound sensitivity at this point.
But we do know that he is terribly attached to them!
I had to snap the photo above because it's a pleasantly
different sight to see him without that big thing on his head!
He looks so much better without it! haha.