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Problems with high pitched noise

(8 Posts)
AgentPineapple Fri 20-May-16 16:10:32

My five year old has always hated lots of noise and sometimes (I thought) it was a excuse for not take part in school activities like music, sports day (lots of screaming), parties etc however he also hates hair dryers, hand dryers and hovers. Any of the above he takes himself away from it and covers his ears. The school have called to say he wouldn't take part in rehearsal for sports day and he told his teacher it was too noisy because of all the screaming and cheering. I'm now worried he actually has a problem with his ears. I asked him about it today and he says the noise hurts his ears and it feels like his ear drums are banging. I will of course be taking him to the doctors on Monday but wondered if anyone had experience of this? He doesn't mind other loud noises, and is quite noisy himself, but I wondered if it was to do with the pitch??

sadie9 Fri 20-May-16 20:41:55

My son was like this. He grew out of it though as he got older. Is your son also very sensitive to textures of food, flavours etc. leading to what some people would call 'fussy' eating. Mine was and still is.
My daughter got a Furbie and both my kids could hear a high pitched whine from it, which neither myself nor my DH could hear. My son with the sensitivity to noise had to put his hands over his ears and leave the room when it was switched on.
My son also hated loud noises, and crowds of people etc.
So your son may just have very acute hearing.
So I would say your son is not making excuses, I would think the noises do bother him and would probably bother us if we could hear it like they can.

Andro Sat 21-May-16 19:57:02

I have hyperacusis so I am depressingly familiar with noise causing pain. High pitched noise is the worst (although I do have a more general issue with volume as well), acutely painful and can leave my head rattling for ages. I haven't grown out of it, short of going deaf I never will - screaming children are pure torture.

I remember well the people who thought I was making excuses!

FuckOffJeffrey Sun 22-May-16 20:15:11

I have something similar with low noises. If music has a lot of bass noise hurts my eardrums. I can also hear electrical buzzing sounds from (most) appliances and for that reason I can't use a digital alarm clock as I can hear it buzzing loudly when I'm trying to fall asleep.

AgentPineapple Thu 26-May-16 23:10:40

We took him to the GP who suggested he could maybe be on the spectrum, something such as autism, I have looked in to it and although there are some familiar things, most of it is not. I'm very reluctant to go down this route as I don't want him to be labelled with something that could affect his whole life unless we can be absolutely sure this is what it is and its severe enough that warrants support/intervention. I have asked the doctor to refer him to ENT first to rule out any ear problems but I fear they are going to tell me his ears are fine! sadie!he doesn't really like eating meat, he really prefers fruit and veg and will only take meat if very soft, I was a lazy eater when I was young so just assumed that was why! andro and fuck how were you diagnosed and when (age), could they actually see a problem with your ears/ear drums or do they make the diagnosis based on the information you give? I spoke to his nursery key worker who knew him very very well and she is fairly sure he is not autistic, she said he didn't show the characteristics (although he did show some) but she felt these were more to do with his intelligence and just his general personality) I know she is not qualified but she does know him much better than any other professional and has worked with autistic kids. My GP isn't qualified either (to diagnose autism) but I am not keen at all to involve an educational psychologist. He can be very sociable and he is very smiley and understands people's emotions. He is very smart and he will realise by now something is going on, we have a very busy house with his 10 month old brother and sister, along with this leaving nursery, starting school, making new friends, he has had a lot to adjust to in the last 12 months

sadie9 Fri 27-May-16 10:05:20

There is another thing called Sensory Processing Disorder (how I hate that word disorder). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensory_processing_disorder
My son would have some of the things on it. Like the loud noises, the crowds and the taste/textures. He still has the taste textures thing.
However, he is really friendly and sociable, has loads of friends, is very intelligent and is academically absolutely fine. So yes has some things on it but they do not impact his day to day life.
My son hated competitive sports and still does. He went to a smaller school though so that probably suited him. We gave up swimming lessons eventually at our main swimming pool because of the noise and busyness, but he did fine at a smaller pool.
A handy question when I find myself worrying over something is - Are my own fears for my child's future in society, causing me to over react to something when maybe the child is not really in danger from anything?
But it is so hard to know, especially at that age, where to draw the line pushing the child to continue something (like competitive/team sports, swimming classes, etc) when they are showing they hate it or dislike it...Because if you say OK you don't need to do X, Y or Z is that helping them or not helping them?
Do they genuinely have a problem with it or would they prefer to just be at home not doing it...
You son was clearly able to articulate to the teacher at age 5, that he didn't want to do it because it's too noisy. That in itself shows a fair level of maturity.
Some 5yr olds wouldn't have the confidence to say that to the teacher, or even know why they didn't want to do something. They would just cry and run off. He knows his own mind anyway and he's not for doing something that hurts his ears.
You could look for workarounds - can he do some small aspect of the sports day so that he takes part. Or can he wear earplugs etc.
If the noises hurt his ears, then your only problem at the present time is noises hurt his ears.

Andro Fri 27-May-16 11:18:53

I was diagnosed at about 5, after the school fire alarm went and the pain put me on the floor with my fingers in my ears. I had a set of tests done - hearing, ent, ct etc to check for anything physical and sensory assessment to look for a more general processing issue - but nothing was found. There is no known cause in my case, it just is.

Ear plugs and ear defenders can help, but can also be disorienting.
Escape routes and strategies are really good to have.
The most important thing you, as a parent, can do is acknowledge the pain he is in. There are few things worse than having it dismissed as attention seeking or avoidance of situations.

AgentPineapple Fri 27-May-16 14:53:58

Thank you sadie and andro a lot of what you are both saying rings true, he is quite mature for his age and he definitely knows his own mind, he confidently makes decisions often. I definitely want to go down the ent route first before we start looking at spectrum disorders!

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