Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Life is Just Too Noisy for Z

For the past year, Z has had an issue with loud noises. If there is a loud noise that startles him, he melts into a ball of tears. This is always very embarrassing because there is no reasoning with him until you remove him from the situation and he feels safe once again. The worst part...it is getting worse with time, not better!

Typical noises that scare Z into fits of tears are: his cousin G when she squawks, other loud children, dogs barking, my mother coughing and something he will hear a lot of very soon....babies crying! If Z is prepared for a noise, it doesn't seem to bother him. For example, if we hear a fire engine coming and then it zooms by our house blaring it's siren...no tears. If we tell Z that the public toilet is going to make a loud sound and he should cover his ears...no tears. But if he is caught off guard, it is all over!

Last weekend at the beach, Z was startled by the lifeguard's whistles (we never thought to prep him for that) and our beach trip was almost ruined. It took me 20 minutes to get him to recover and I had to force him back on the beach to show him all he was missing. He then went on to have the best time and you would have never known that he was the child who was clinging to me for dear life in fear of the loud whistles.

Now we have tried many different things to break him of this horrible trait. We have taught him some strategies to deal with loud noises such as; covering his ears when he hears a loud sound, walking away from loud sounds or asking his friends and cousin to "please be quiet". Every time a baby cries we brainstorm with him reasons the baby might be crying (tired, hungry etc.). We have tried to reason with him during his fits, we have talked about situations later on after he is calm and have even ignored the behavior many times (this is difficult to do in public)......nothing seems to work!

Come October, Z is going to be in for a rude awakening :) He is going to be the big brother to a huge source of noise. It would be nice to nip this in the bud now but I know that will not happen. So what do you think is going on here??? Is Z just an odd little ducking? Is it a phase (lasting over a year)? Or do you think there might be a medical reason??? We are so baffled by this behavior and any advice would be most welcome!


MamaB said...

Hi! So I just wanted to chime in to say, I think this is more then a phase. I have not experienced this myself with Amelia but I have read other blogs about children with sensory issues. I have attached one for you to look at. You might want to read her history or contact her for more info. For your sake and Z's I hope this is a phase, but if it is not then you definately want to look into it now instead of later when other issues could surface. Good Luck and keep us posted!


JennyMac said...

Hi. I don't have a good answer or suggestion. What does his pediatrician say? Since sensory overload is a compelling issue right now for kids, I hope they can steer you in the right direction.

Michelle said...

Hi Jess...I have experienced this with only 1 out of 5 of my kids and it's Brycen. We still have issues. We can't fully find a medical reason why but I truly believe that it's because he had so many ear infections and so many sets of tubes. Also, because he has slow processing speeds he can't process everything going on at once. Loud noise, people moving, music (parades used to be sooo bad).

Over time he has gotten better but every once in a while it creeps in and I can tell by the look on his face he is internally freaking out.

I have more I want to tell you but I am late for an appointment. I will e-mail you later.

A quick thing.....we taught him that if he covered his ears and then came to us...right away....we would stay with him and find the source that was bothering him with his words...instead of his tears. It took time. I have more but have to run...

PS: thanks for your support this morning...you have no idea how much it means.

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