ADHD and sensitive to noise.

by Tena
(Fremont, IA)

My child is 14 years old and was diagnosed with ADHD several years ago. He has always been very sensitive to noises such as sirens, horns, anything that could possibly startle him. If he even sees flashing lights, he is covering his ears. He has gotten to where he doesn't want to go to parades because they usually have police cars or ambulance in them that might make noise. He even refused to go in the horse barns at the county fair because the horses might make a noise. He doesn't care how rediculous it looks to walk around somewhere with his hands on his ears, there is nothing we can do or threaten him with that will make him take his hands off his ears. If we force him too, he freaks out. He doesn't want to go to Happy Joe's because they might have a birthday and blow their horn or run the siren. He wouldn't go into the building at the state fair that had a flashing light at the firehouse exihibit because a siren might go off. Has anyone had anything like this with their child? As he gets older, we thought he'd get past the problem but it doesn't look like it. I can see him going to the county fair with a date and walking around with his hands on his ears. Any ideas out there?


Comments for ADHD and sensitive to noise.

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Apr 19, 2018
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Sound Sensitive
by: Anonymous

I was always sensitive to sound as a kid. Our next door neighbor used to scream my name, and I'd start crying. I'd beg my older sisters to turn down loud music. I'm twenty-seven, and I live in New York City, and I sometimes cover my ears when sirens pass. At the end of the day, does it harm you to have your child cover his ears? Maybe you're embarrassed, but if it makes him feel better--what's more important? I think it's hard for some people to understand how cutting a harsh sound is to people who are sound sensitive (I'm also light sensitive so I have to cover my eyes a lot if the sky's too bright). Another alternative, you could consider for your son: what about buying him earplugs at the pharmacy? I wear earplugs when I sleep. I cut them in half so they stay in my ears and typically I can still hear people speak through them. The sounds just muffled enough where I am able to fall asleep as well. Best of luck.

Oct 27, 2015
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Stop!!!
by: Anonymous

Don't threaten him with anything to try to get him to take his hands off of his ears! That is so counterproductive! I have the same problems. I have ADHD and I am incredibly sensitive, especially to bright light and loud/unpleasant noises. The best thing you can attempt to do is show him that it's okay, and nothing bad is happening. If he still finds it to be too much, just let him put in some ear plugs. So many people- especially kids- with ADHD suffer from being hypersensitive. Punishing, belittling, and threatening them are the absolute worst ways to go about handling those situations.

May 14, 2011
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Cb therapy
by: Anonymous

Hi, I also have hypersensitivity to noise. It doesn't include only the noise, but includes people's talking and TV sound, but not for the music I like!!!
To know myself better, I am studying psychology in the university, and I use cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with hypersensitivity to loud sound which is overwhelming distress that comes very abruptly. So when I feel it, I cover my ears or put ear plugs, and tell myself, "it's just noise. It'll go away soon. I am just more sensitive than other normal people. I CAN TOLERATE THIS!!". While doing it, I take deep breath over and over. Then I can restore my calmness. It will take only one to two minutes. It's important to accept what you are and try to find the way how to deal with it.. We are much stricter about what we like and don't like than other people. It's not because we have stubborn personality, but due to our biology, how we are wired. I also have hypersensitivity about smell, and my partner said that I was overreacting. So I told him, " if somebody suddenly put stool(feces) right in front of your nostril, how are you going to react?" so please, if your son doesn't like to go to some places, don't force him to go there unless it is essential for his school or work...

Mar 08, 2011
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Sensitive Noise Bothers ADHD
by: marianluke

Approximately 20% of those who have adhd are hyperpsensitive in some way. Basically, if you have too much input, your brain cannot process them all, and you end up overloaded because your brain can not filter out the unnecessary noise very well.
It does increase with stress, so it makes sense with all of the changes you are going through right now.

Earplugs will do with these and some relaxing techniques.

Sep 18, 2010
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ADHD and sensitive to noise.
by: Deborah Merlin

I agree with TJ to read The Fabric of Autism and also contact the HANDLE Institute, founded by the late Judith Bluestone and the author of Fabric of Autism. http://www.handle.org Your grandson may have a a poor sense of equilibrium and movement. Does or did he have frequent ear infections? Does he have sensory overload? HANDLE methods are gentle yet powerful in rebuilding and repairing the neuropathways in the brain.

Sep 17, 2010
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Get This Book
by: TJ Chambers

To understand sensory issues, you must read this book. Unbelievable how much I learned about myself and others that are ADHD even though we aren't Autistic.




There are exercises that you can do in the book to help reduce the auditory sensory problem. This is something I need to do also.


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