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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

In The Autism World, Lately


Alex, today.

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.

 ♥

46 comments:

  1. It's so good to hear some of the details of your life with Alex, as I seem to forget all you must go through on a daily basis. He looks so content and handsome sitting there. Sending love and hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep....in many ways it's like caring for toddlers still...times three. haha. They're just
      much, much bigger now. :)

      Delete
  2. Very interesting....and the irony of getting the headset at Lowes wasn't lost on me. Great idea to use several pairs. I was always bothered by the humming of the alarm at a jewelry store. So odd what we hear. We've tried several things for sound with our field equipment, lawn mowers and tools. Each has issues.....ear plugs get lost, headphones not as much. I love the picture....

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, if anyone here needs to use a loud power tool, we have the safety issues all covered. haha.

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  3. He is such a handsome, young man sitting there. Obviously absorbed in his ipad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they do love their iPads. Thank God for wifi. :)

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  4. The men surely love their iPads, they always seem so engrossed :)
    My daughter has recently been dating a single gentleman with an autistic daughter, she also has hearing sensitivity, I should tell her about these headphones.
    I can't get over how much the men have grown..
    Hugs,
    ~Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I hope she discovers that they help....maybe not to wear constantly, but just to constantly have them along, just in case! haha. We would have never been able to all attend Taylor's high school basketball games without all three guys wearing them. They've been life changing, really.

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  5. Thank you, Betsy, for sharing this part of Alex's life...which in turn definitely makes it part of your life. I'm glad that Harry and Spencer don't have the same problem with noise. They are all such handsome young men. Just so you know...I pray for the Brock family every. single. day. xx Dianna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow...thank you so much. You have no idea how much that is appreciated! We NEED it. :)

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    2. And I pray often too, for you and your guys...we all need it for various reasons.....and it is life changing.

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  6. Thanks for sharing this, Betsy. I often think of and pray for your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sallie! Thanks. :) So good to see you here.

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  7. Betsy you are my super hero! I love reading your stories I don't know how you do it 24/7 . God Bless you and your family .....You are a true inspiration ❤

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Saundra! I appreciate that a lot. :)

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  8. It's interesting the daily things we take for granted like how noises effect others differently. And hardware stores can be loud places! I would've never thought about this until you shared it with us. Thank you! I had the same problem with flashing lights (fire trucks, cops, etc.) setting off my seizures. Even after surgery, tho, it's still instinct or habit to turn my head and look away. I like Alex's look of concentration!

    Marla

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have had a few migraines start with a bright light like that! Ugh!

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  9. Lovely story Betsy...hugs to you!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  10. Sometimes, we just don't know what goes on in the lives of our blogging friends. And it seems that it takes a lot of bravery on their part to include us on such sensitive matters. Thank you for sharing a little of your world with us today. By sharing, perhaps we can help in some small way, if only to whisper a prayer. Hugs and Prayers, Betsy! And....Go Alex for stepping out of your comfort zone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I don't think it takes any bravery...at least not for me. I've been talking about the guys here since I started blogging...and this series has been going for years! The posts are just few and far between because they don't really like to be photographed, and I'm usually not willing to take the time to type out a longer post! haha. And thanks..prayers are always welcome!

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  11. Good Job Alex. I can appreciate what a big step this is!! Baylor will occasionally cover his ears but for the most part he does ok. Autism is a strange world and unless you have the opportunity to experience it close up, you would never know the struggles many of the spectrum kids experience. After our whole family rented a home together for vacation last year, my daughter came to me and said that she had never realized what Ben and Katy live with on a daily basis. It is hard...I admire you and your husband so much Betsy. You are really encouragers in the Autism World.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly....someone from the outside couldn't possibly know our day to day work, routine and compromises!

      Delete
  12. I'm guessing that the headsets are a bit of a security blanket for Alex, though no doubt his hearing is much more sensitive than most people's. Good job in taking little steps (and a touch of deviousness) to wean him off just a bit. His good looks comes through more without the headsets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's security, too...at least at home where it isn't noisy and he really wouldn't need them. Little by little...baby steps! He does look so much better without that monstrosity on his head! haha.

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  13. Hi Betsy - thanks for telling us this ... interesting about the fact his head has adapted in size where the headset rests ... well done on getting him to accept the change ... I'd wondered about the headphones. Nice to see the photo as is ... cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/j-is-for-jellicles.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes...all for the sensitivity! And I already visited your jellicles post!

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  14. ah Betsy what lovely and big look Alex, is nice to see him again.
    blessings to all ♡♡♡

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    Replies
    1. They're growing up so much! I bet the twins are, too!

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    2. yes they are and miss my little twins you know...

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  15. Thank you for sharing...he does look handsome! Love the irony at Lowes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep..the best place to buy them, right in the tool section! haha.

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  16. Something sure caught his interest there too
    Good that a little change can come due
    Never knew that is why the headphones were always there
    Wise to have many a pair

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People usually think he's listening to music
      and I guess that would be easy to think.
      But they don't make sound...
      just the sounds they out-drowned. haha.
      Is out-drowned a word?
      Sounds absurd.
      It's drowned out backward, you know
      as I had to make the rhyme go. :)

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  17. Bless him . . . . and you . . :)
    Strange Harry and Spencer do not experience this phenominum as well . . . but I guess we are all individuals . . . :)

    I think you are a Mum in a million . . . :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Spencer and Harry do....just to a much lesser extent...thankfully.
      We have sets for all of them but rarely do they all three use them at once.

      Delete
  18. I never realized how much more sensitive to noise Alex is than Harry and Spencer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep...that's what the headset has been for all these years!

      Delete
  19. Good work to Alex and mama. I wish I had a pair of those when the vacuum is running. Since dh retired he vacuums when I am gone. I feel him on that.

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  20. I always knew Alex favoured the headphones more than Spencer and Harry but wondered if he would/could be weaned. How great that you've been able to take such steps. Yay to you both!
    He looks so very handsome! Love his hair.
    Wondering also, as an alternative, if a smaller set could be used? I use noise-cancelling headphones and they are quite small but work wonders.
    Thanks for sharing this. I always love learning more about the boys... I should say men! But they are boys in my heart. xo❤

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried a different kind one time and he didn't go for it...but that was a few years ago.
      I should try again with something lighter and smaller!

      We will always call them 'the boys'. haha.

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  21. I admire how you navigate this autism world and am thankful to get a peek into it now and then. You rock Betsy!

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