We tried to go to the Center Grove Orchard on Saturday. We absolutely LOVE it there and have made many great memories there in years past. We love the corn ocean, jumping pillow, tractor ride, corn maze, animals, and all the other great attractions, but for some reason, Kylie had a REALLY hard time this year: The sound was just too much for her.
Sensitivity to Sound (light, texture, motion, smells and so many other sensory things) is extremely common for children and adults who experience Autism (in any form). It impacts their daily living in ways we cannot fathom.
Things have gotten a little easier for us since Kylie has gotten older and has learned some coping strategies (putting her hands over her ears, saying or signing to us that it is "too loud" or that she "needs a break"). But, it is still VERY difficult to interact socially when you suffer so much from the sensitivity of your senses.
If we are with other children and they squeal with delight over something fun and exciting, that puts Kylie in a tail-spin, she cannot duck, cower and cover her ears fast enough. Her anxiety elevates and she wants nothing more than to vacate the premises. If we are with adults, and they give a round of applause to a performer - the same is true. These common, everyday occurrences cause physical pain for our girl.
It breaks my heart to know how these things impact her. I can see her face visibly change when people enter a room. She knows it is coming- the pain, the discomfort. She scoots closer to me and many times hides behind my leg or squats in a corner trying to "block out" the world.
We can't "turn off" the world, so how do we help our girl navigate through it?
We avoid crowded and chaotic areas as much as possible. We spend much of our time with our hands over Kylie's ears, or with one hand over one ear and her other ear pressed into our leg to muffle the sound. We warn her when we know sound is coming and let her know that it is "ok" to put her hands over her ears if she needs to.
Our girl is made in an amazing way and she has talents that go beyond anything I can imagine. I wonder a lot what her "thing" will be. Will she be an artist? an engineer? a writer? a caregiver? How is God planning to use that super sensitive hearing?
There is a perfect plan prepared for my girl. I am excited to learn what that will be. Until then, we will do our best to cultivate her talents, guard her from the things that hurt her and do our best to integrate her into society as painlessly as we can.
If you think of it, whisper a prayer for a little girl who feels pain every time she exits her front door. The world is a scary and painful place for her.
This mommy and daddy would be so grateful!!