Saturday, February 19, 2011

Living with Auditory Defensiveness

Auditory defensiveness is an over sensitivity to sounds in the environment. Children with auditory defensiveness can present with some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Seems unsettled or distressed in loud environments
  • Frequently cover their ears to sounds that other children tolerate
  • Are bothered by noises made by things like the vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, etc.
  • Avoids activities that have loud environments such as parties, ballgames, and movies.
  • Possible language difficulties

There are strategies are available to help children with auditory processing issues.

  • Modify the environment (such as in a school) by considering the acoustics in the classroom. Changing seating arrangements may be beneficial and limiting extraneous noise from the hallway by closing the door or windows is also helpful. It may be necessary to cover the loud speaker with material to tone down the volume.
  • Having rugs or carpet on the floor will decrease echo and extraneous noises.
  • Whenever possible, children should be forewarned about bells, announcements, fire drills, etc.
  • Have the child wear headphones or earmuffs that that cover the entire ear to filter out extraneous background noises.
  • Play calming music such as Mozart in the headphones or as background music.
  • If concentration is an issue, the child should chew gum, suck on sour candies, and/or eat fruit roll ups, or crunchy snacks.
  • Therapeutic Listening® is a program that may help a child with issues such as auditory defensiveness, hypersensitivities, sensory modulation, and general organization issues. For more information, go to and click on parent info.


  1. I would love the CD's for my Daughter she is 6. She spent her first 5 years in a bad E. Europe orphanage. Mostly locked in a room. We are working on her sensory issues mostly learning as we go. So the CD's would be a great help. Thank you so much for the information on your blog it has helped greatly with her and our bio son. Heather

  2. We have three young children, one with SPD who is very difficult to calm and who has always had sleep issues -- and another who likes to model after him. So, the CD's would be a great help wiht calming them. Thanks.

    mmstangerjunk (at) comcast (dot) net

  3. My daughter teaches 4th grade and this would be a great cd for her to use when in the classroom for study time.
    kimkmc at

  4. I signed up to follow your blog with Google Friend Connect. I'd like to win the CD to use when my grandson visits. Thanks for the chance.

  5. i just becace a gfc follower

  6. Cujo (HMB99) is a GFC follower. I'd like to win this for my son who seems very anxious about things.

  7. Renski17 is a new GFC follower.

  8. higgs.rachel at gmail dot com
    I signed up as a GFC follower

  9. i am a gfc follower stracey2010 and i would love to have this for my son

  10. Now following GFC.
    I'd like it to calm my twins :)

  11. i am a follower on gfc, i would love to win because calming is always good around here
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

  12. I follow as /\Heather/\
    I would love this for homework time!
    heatherpooh (hotmail)