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To consider moving because of airplanes?

(33 Posts)
Mamamaiasaura Mon 23-Jul-12 21:43:24

We moved to our lovely home 4 years ago and love it, the area is beautiful and the catchment area is good. It's close enough to dh work that he's home at 4.10pm everyday so we all have dinner together and the children get time with him everyday.

We live under the flight path of a local airport which is expanding and will be much larger come 2015. The planes are small, but depending on wind direction will fly over our homes.

The issue is my ds2. He used to love playing outside and we couldn't get him indoors at all. However for the last 6 months or more he has been hiding from the airplanes and will hide under our dining table to get away from them. He will not play in our garden at all and it's a lovely place to be, climbing frame, slide, command post den, lawn and decking. Had the paddling pool out today and even that wouldn't tempt him. Me, ds1 and dd all in the garden and he was under the table. Yesterday we went to the beach on a nearby island and he was fine until coastguard helicopter flew over.

He has high functioning autism and we were told last week that the issue with noises is a sensory processing issue and he has been referred to occupational therapy and audiology. He has other sensory issues to but they don't impact on his life to the same level at present.

At preschool he wouldn't play in the garden because of the planes and he starts infant school in September and I think this will continue. He needs to be able to run and play and enjoy the outdoors. I don't know what else to do.

Moving would be likely to be a faIr way from here to avoid flight paths. Ds1 is in year 7 about to start year 8 and this will impact on him hugely, of we move further away dh will not be home as much so the dc will miss him.

I just don't know what else to do. Ear defenders make little difference, neither does music. Any ideas?

McHappyPants2012 Mon 23-Jul-12 21:47:36

how about putting a car port or a large Canopy in the garden

bumperella Mon 23-Jul-12 21:51:45

This is going to reveal my deep ignorance: no offence meant, but is this something that he will be able to learn to deal with as time goes on?

If it were to take 6 months to sell your house (for example), then would it be possible to seek support (occupational therapy etc) sooner - could you pay to do it privately as this might be cheaper than a house move anyway?

PurpleCrazyHorse Mon 23-Jul-12 21:58:48

Sorry, know nothing really about autism, nor how long you'd wait for OT and audiology, but if it wasn't too long, I'd wait for them and see what they suggest. I agree that private might be the way forward if you factor in the cost of moving.

There's a whole special needs section on MN and I wonder whether there might be other parents who have had similar experiences and can offer some suggestions.

JumpingThroughHoops Mon 23-Jul-12 22:02:50

HFA here, used to have a thing about noise. Doesn't phase him now, he learned to deal with it himself.

Tiggles Mon 23-Jul-12 22:04:08

How old is your DS2? My elder 2 have ASD, both have sensitive hearing, but DS2 probably worse than DS1.
We used to live by an RAF base, believe me RAF jumpjets taking off are very noisy! Both got used to the noise, but I think it was an age thing, and a learning to cope thing. e.g. we used to count and know that the noise would last for x seconds (can't remember how long now as we moved 4 years ago).
However I appreciate all children with ASD are different.

Tiggles Mon 23-Jul-12 22:05:17

Just seen he is about to start infant school - I found with DS2 that this was around the age that he started finding coping mechanisms for noise. Although sudden unexpected noises still set him off.

Mamamaiasaura Mon 23-Jul-12 22:05:52

It's ok, I'm ignorant about it too. I posted here as much more traffic and hoping that someone says something I'd not thought of. I don't think it's something he gets better from, though we hope that it is. I've been talking to mums with older dc and noise is still a huge issue.

The referral process is quick here afaik as he was seen quickly from initial referral, dx first appointment in may and already seen dr again, speech therapy again this week (I'll speak to them about how disabling the sensory issues are).

We live in a terrace which is horse shoe in shape (sound really echos). It's a new build with lots of covenants and there is no way we would be able to erect a shelter.. Our fences aren't even meant to be full height.

It's also not just confined to home, school is an issue and days out are affected although to a lesser degree as less air traffic.

Mamamaiasaura Mon 23-Jul-12 22:10:10

That's reassuring jumping and little. The aircraft issue is relatively new (about 6 months or so, but it might be that he's only learnt to verbalise it). He used to play outside whenever he could and preschool had a problem keeping him inside.

He has always had problems with hand dryers, lawn mowers hoovers, whisks etc but not to the extent of aircraft. The autistic society suggested it could be the vibrations and pressure changes too.

We've only been learning about the ASD since May so fairly green about it all.

DeWe Mon 23-Jul-12 22:43:50

I'd agree with jumping. I lived by a military airbase growing up and you got used to the noise. If we get (rarely where we live now) a military jet over then dh jumps and flinches. I don't really notice.
I didn't have ASD, but I'm sure (looking back) there were dc at my primary school who had them. I don't recall any of them having a problem because I'd guess we were so used to it.

When we go back to stay where I used to live the dc very quickly get used to the planes-doesn't even wake them at nights. My dc don't have ASD, but two of them hate(d) handdriers and other loud noises. Although ds is very very keen on planes, so that helps.

You make find that having more means he gets used to them more perhaps.

Could you see whether he could get interested in the aircraft? Ds doesn't notice the noise so much because he's jumping up and down because it's a typhoon (or whatever). If you go onto youtube there are lots of videos of aircraft taking off/flying/landing. You could start off with the volume off, and see whether he could be interested.

BUT I would keep open the thought that he might not cope. Give him a length of time, so you don't keep going "I'm sure he'll be fine by next year" for 10 years.

sashh Tue 24-Jul-12 03:06:09

I'd agree with jumping. I lived by a military airbase growing up and you got used to the noise

No you don't, not with ASD.

OP - I've not got a diagnosis but seemt to have quite a few traits, one thing that happens with me is that certain pitches of noise actually hurt - really, really hurt.

Does you ds say it hurts? If it is the pitch then ear defenders will not work unless you can block the noise completely.

Can you get a timetable for the flights? Then he knows when there might be a plane and go in away from it.

Also he may grow out of this, it might be at the moment that he is hearing something really loud or possibly painful.

One thing I have found helps is to use musician's earplugs - although I'm not sure they would be suitable for a child - well not the over the counter ones, but I know you can get ones where an ear mould is used.

Of course I couls be completely wrong, but it is something to consider.

Babylon1 Tue 24-Jul-12 03:16:05

I too live directly under the main flight path for our local airport, which incidentally is expanding and will be much bigger in 2015.

Just lately there has been a massive increase in the number of planes circling to land and a much higher number of training flights where the planes are very very low and circling for upwards of 2 hours at a time.

Dd1 is ok with this at almost 8yo but dd2 is freaked by it at just 3yo. We're working on it with her, but it's not easy as the planes sometimes make me jump blush

She tends to run inside and hide until it's gone, but she also has ishoos with lawn lowers, hoovers, hedge cutters and those garden blower things.

Anything that makes a loud noise really. AFAIK she isn't ASD at all, and I can imagine this would be so much worse if she was.

OP if we are by any chance talking about the same airport, pm me as there is a noise pollution group in the area who are happy to listen to concerns and do whatever they can to help. smile


sleeplessinsuburbia Tue 24-Jul-12 03:34:13

Some autistic kids I work with are sensitive to noise and have eat protectors. Could you get an excellent quality pair with your ds (make it sound special) then put some plane stickers on them so when he goes outside he knows to put them on? Might be useful in other situations too.

HecateHarshPants Tue 24-Jul-12 07:27:24

I would move. Getting used to it is something that an NT child would do.

My children are both autistic. I've been fighting the same sound battles for 10 years.

I would, honestly, just move.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 24-Jul-12 08:43:23

Oh, what a horrible situation for your family to be in sad

My ds has AS and is sensitive to noise, but more so to smell, I think we would have the same problem if we lived near a farm!

I don't think you can be given one definitive piece of advice, because while it might be the right move for your younger ds that you live in a different area, it might not be right for your other children to have to move schools at this time. You have to think about your whole family, not just the child with ASD. I think if you are going to move you have to do it sooner rather than later with ds1going into Y8, but if it weren't for that then I would agree with the advice about choosing a date and giving it until then before you make any descisons about moving.

I think I'd try and find out about some super strength ear defenders before I thought about moving, or maybe just accept that he is going to spend a lot of time indoors.

Do you have other outdoor spaces available for play that aren't under the flight path that you could make more use of?

Mamamaiasaura Tue 24-Jul-12 08:53:06

babylon airport begins with S.

Mamamaiasaura Tue 24-Jul-12 08:55:58

We have Peltor ear defenders and they aren't helping. He says it hurts. Even when inside he will hide. If planes going overhead he moves away from windows too:

Planes are frequent and every couple of minutes sometime then nothing for a whole. He hears the planes before we do.

spongebrainfatpants Tue 24-Jul-12 09:54:47

I've not noticed the extra noise from the S airport. But I can imagine how an autistic child may react.
Not sure how houses are selling around here right now.
How far would you move out?
My niece used to be so scared of noise. It got to the point where my sister couldn't go out. She's grown out of it now, but she isn't autistic.
Good luck x

Babylon1 Tue 24-Jul-12 09:56:50

Different airport wink Mine is notts east mids.

Mamamaiasaura Tue 24-Jul-12 10:37:21

sponge not sure as I'd want to still try and get ds1 to same school. I'm on edge of forest. When they fly over some are so loud I can't hold a conversation.

Mamamaiasaura Tue 24-Jul-12 10:37:38

babylon smile

MrsCarriePooter Tue 24-Jul-12 12:11:13

Wouldn't be situated in a place beginning with E is it Mamamaiasaura? If so I was brought up under the flight path and my mother still lives there (to the north). You have my sympathy.

Practically though - how do you go about finding somewhere without plane noise?

Mamamaiasaura Tue 24-Jul-12 12:21:04

mrs yup it's in beastly. We are over at edge of forest .

GooseRocks Tue 24-Jul-12 12:30:11

I would move. A non ASD kid would grow out of this as it's an irrational fear. For an ASD child with hyper sensitive hearing this level and frequency of noise will be really hard to cope with.

Pendeen Wed 25-Jul-12 08:24:57

OP are you American?

It's "aeroplane", not "airplane".

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