Princess Ky Background - The cutest blog on the block

Thursday, October 27, 2011

When Hearing Hurts - A Sensitivity to Sound

Does anyone notice a theme to these pictures?

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.
It is a marvel to us.  Some days she does just fine and other days even the swish of a grocery sack is too much for her to bear. She enjoys music, but cannot handle the cry of a baby. She can hear a train from miles and miles away several minutes before Dan or I can hear it.

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!!


  1. Oh wow, my heart goes out to you mama! I cannot relate by any means... but I LOVE your positive outlook! :)

    Dear God,

    I uplift this family to you. I know you work ALL things out for the good of us, but I also know that You are a Healer! Father, I ask that you help Kylie with the pain she experiences from just "normal" sounds in her ears - bring into balance the brain waves. And we speak to the pain and say "no more" in Jesus' name! We will not accept this as "normal". Thank you, Father, in Jesus' name, Amen!!!

  2. My heart hurts for her - poor thing. Have you thought of ear plugs? Maybe a small size she could wear? Reason I'm saying this is because I wear them everyday for the main purpose of having 4 very loud children with me all day long. It really helps my stress level. Of course, my situation is clearly different from what she is going through - but it may be something to help lower the decibels of what is around her. ( I saw you on Blogfrog and thought I'd come here to leave a comment about this.)

  3. Bekah- Thank you so much for your remembering Kylie in prayer. That is truly a gift to our family. Thanks also for taking the time to stop by and be an encouragement.

    Debbie- I know what you mean! It breaks my heart to see Kylie with her little hands over her ears. Last night, I found her asleep in her bed with her hands firmly clamped over her ears. We have been researching headphones and are looking for ones that will fit her (it is SO HARD to find ones that will fit little ones comfortably and still be effective). What kind of ear plugs do you use? Do they make them in kid sizes? What are they made out of? I'd sure love to hear more!