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Why is dd so sensitive to noise???

(17 Posts)
Jesusgirl Sun 07-Aug-11 19:16:15

My dd 31months hates loud noise such as the vacuum cleaner, blender. She would not dry her hands in a public toilet with the dryer, if there's no paper napkin- I have to offer her my jeans!!!
We were on the motorway yesterday and stopped at a service station as she Really needed to wee, we got to the loo and she refused to go in because the dryer.

I'm not sure this is normal. She would run out of the room if the tv comes on suddenly and it's loud. She would block her ears if there's any noise around her.

Anyone has any idea why this happens? I'm not worried at all, just wondering really.

Thanks.

Tiggles Sun 07-Aug-11 19:38:01

Being scared of noisy hand driers is quite common, I know quite a few small children who refuse to go into public toilets because of them. However it sounds like your DD is extra sensitive to noise.
Two of my DSs have 'sensory processing disorder' as part of their autism part of which means they are super sensitive to noise (along with smell, lights etc etc) I have found that teaching them to count to 20 when a handdrier comes on helps as they know that when they get to 20 the noise will have stopped.

BlooCowWonders Sun 07-Aug-11 19:41:55

Dd (nearly 5) always puts her hands over her ears near hand dryers etc. So I'd say it's completely normal.
But also ironic as she's such a noisy little thing at other times smile

LeninGrad Sun 07-Aug-11 19:44:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lingle Sun 07-Aug-11 20:52:53

I think it starts off as a biological thing (some children's hearing is just genuinely more sensitive than ours) but then it can develop into a phobia.

Having said that, the dryers at motorway service stations are ridiculously loud. If you weren't used to them, you'd be shocked by the noise some of them make too.

I'd let her continue to block her ears. It may genuinely be hurting her.

roundabout1 Sun 07-Aug-11 21:39:05

My dd1 is now almost 6 & just about getting used to the hoover & handdriers now. She just seems to be very sensitive to noise. The newer handdriers are so loud compared to the older style ones so I can understand it. She may outgrow it in time, it really is very common as I thought it was only my daughter but even when she started school there were others in her class exactly the same.

dilbertina Sun 07-Aug-11 21:43:35

It may sound odd but my dd had a real problem with sudden loud noise when she was younger, this seemed to be connected to the fact she had severely reduced hearing due to glue ear. When her hearing was normalised with grommets all was fine.
So, maybe get her hearing checked?

Sleepglorioussleep Mon 08-Aug-11 11:55:40

Another hand drier hater who is just getting over it at nearly six. My clothes have been substitute towels for years! And as a baby, White noise was the magic sleep inducer! Very normal I'd say.

camdancer Mon 08-Aug-11 13:50:50

DS (4) is another one with spookily sensitive hearing. We couldn't use a vacuum near him until he was well over 3. And don't get me started on those horrible dyson hand dryers. We use toilet paper to dry hands - or jeans!

We bought him some ear defenders for special occasions like fireworks. They are amazing but not realy practical for everyday.

He also has some sensory issues with food. I assume it is all connected and will improve with time.

thestringcheeseincident Mon 08-Aug-11 13:53:06

yes another one with DD who hates noise. Drills, fireworks, thunder, hand dryers (although this one has got better.) She's nearly 5. I bought the ear defenders to at least give her some control over things. Not looking forward to fireworks this year AT ALL.
She also has sensory issues with food, but ever so slowly growing out of it.

lingle Mon 08-Aug-11 16:01:03

yes we bought the ear defenders too.

I know that it's no longer a sensory issue but now a phobia with my son because he now has no fear of hair-dryers/fireworks/drills, etc but is still terrified of hand-dryers - and that is because I pushed him too far too soon. I should have got the ear defenders sooner.

phdlife Tue 09-Aug-11 11:47:30

yep, my ds is like this over hair dryers, vacuum, drills. Worst thing for him is other dc's screaming - it just destroys him, there's no other word for it.

fyi, I was reading Raising Your Spirited Child (sorry, too rushed to find the author and the link) and that had a whole chapter about spirited kids' hyper-sensitivity which I found useful.

IndigoBell Tue 09-Aug-11 11:52:56

She might have hypersensitive hearing. For example most people find fingernails down a blackboard painful. She might find things as painful as that which are in a lower sound frequency.

If it continues to be a real problem it can be cured with auditory integration training. (AIT)

Mum1234 Tue 09-Aug-11 12:01:01

Glad it's not just my DS - I have trouble even getting him in to the toilet if there is a hand drier in there. I have to co-erce him in. I regurlaly use clothes to dry his hands but I always use the hand drier for my hands still as I think it is best for him to keep seeing it so he isn't afraid of it. We've had so much building work going on that he isn't bothered by drills etc, just hand driers for some bizarre reason. Sometimes they are incredibly loud though and so understandable when your ears are quite little! I thought it is something that he'll probably grow out of (he's 3.5 years), but maybe I should do something more?

exexpat Tue 09-Aug-11 12:08:01

We had to run fast out of many, many public loos when DS was little as he was so sensitive to the noise of the hand-driers.

He was hyper-sensitive to noise in lots of situations (had to leave noisy playgroups in halls with hard flooring and walls etc), and had various other sensory issues (was really bothered by clothing labels, hated having his hair or nails cut etc) but has no diagnosed issues, though I would say he is probably mildly dyspraxic, which I gather often involves sensory issues as well as balance/coordination.

He is now 13 and has grown out of most of the sensory issues, and is quite the opposite of sensitive to noise - I have to keep telling him to turn his iPod or the television down.

lingle Tue 09-Aug-11 14:18:30

I actually complained to dyson. They very kindly couriered me a (silent) mockup of an airblade to help him desensitise. he was fascinated by it.

camdancer Tue 09-Aug-11 14:52:59

Sorry, I didn't answer your question. What I had heard is that children can hear higher frequencies than adults. That is why the can make that siren thing that is horrible for children but doesn't affect adults. Anyway, some things like vacuum cleaners and hand dryers also have high frequency sounds that only very young children can hear - that's why it gets better with age. The child's hearing stops being able to tune in to those frequencies.

So it is a real problem. Not just a child trying to be annoying. (Yes MIL, that's aimed at you. "Just get on with the vacummimg it won't hurt him." cue absolute screams of pain from DS. Grrr.)

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