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Hand Driers in public toilets....(19 Posts)
This is so much like DS, who also really dreads using public toilets because of the hand-drier noise. Good to get others' ideas on how to help them cope here - thanks.
right now on cbeebies, Wooly and Tig is all about public toilets, how the hand dryer makes a noise, sometimes they smell, etc etc... my ds has same problem and is watching avidly. I think I've managed to record it to rewatch but I also think it might be available online or repeated this pm.
just posting hurriedly before school hope this makes sense!
Thank you so much ladies, I do think its the unexpectedness of it all. She loves her little brothers toys noisey toys when she is playing with them (and in full control) but when he starts setting them all off at the one time she starts screaming, shaking and often crumples into a little ball on the floor.
Will start on noise de-sensitisation and try chocolate bribery and see how it goes. Hadnt realised it was so common an issue, feel much better now. Think will wait till after xmas though got the whole flashy lights, wrapping paper and cards issues to work through first!!
You could try a desensitisation programme - turn on the hoover in a far part of the house with the doors shut and reward for tolerating the noise (eg give chocolate). The gradually open doors / move the hoover nearer / build up time (space out the chocolate) until can tolerate being in the same room and ok with it. Then do hairdryer, mixer or other noisy item at home. Then try with hand dryer eg standing outside the door etc when you are out. Expect it to take weeks / months but often works.
DS has reactions to things but over time we realise its more the unexpectedness or it / or he has made a rule he does not like it, rather than a genuine noise intolerance. Not saying all children are like this but many can be persuaded to tolerate it if they are given something sufficiently motivating as a reward.
Sometimes once you have done 1 or 2 items the 3rd similar item is no big deal and they get over it pretty quickly.
Same problem here, I have to check if there is one in a public loo, if he's feeling ok he will tell me to guard it and not let anyone use it till we leave! Or he will refuse to go in at all.
It's really common. dd2 was exactly the same, and even used to fall over if a lorry drove past because of the noise. sudden unexpected (and even some expected) noises would make her Moro kick in and she would crumple. (Athetoid cp)
We did continue to work on it though, and it lasted about four years - at 9 now she can cope if they go off without warning - she still startles and puts her hands to her ears, but doesn't drop to the ground or cry.
She is still very noise sensitive, but we've worked very hard to desensitize her - we want her to be able to function - as an older child in a mainstream environment, she needs to learn coping strategies to deal with 'ordinary' life... Which includes hand dryers, magic flushing toilets (the terror), fire engines, speakers on aeroplanes, speakers in theaters where you can't see where the noise is coming from and that spring to life in the dark, story tapes, orchestras... The list is pretty much endless where sudden noises are concerned!!
This year she even took part in the town parade, where we were placed directly in front of the fire engine, which honked, wailed and generally made her life an absolute misery. But by god, she did it. even if it was with her hands over her ears, which made walking really difficult.
We did use the disabled loos when we didn't have time to do the whole recce/ prep/ lengthy visit and calm down routine though.
Ds has always hated the driers going off. We tend to use the disabled toilets as he can't manage by himself and he's a bit too old to come in the ladies with me so we've managed to avoid them mostly. However he recently discovered the Dyson airstream things, I thought he would be scared as usual but to my surprise he actually put his hands in. In the end I had trouble dragging him away! I wonder if they are a different tone or something, or maybe it's because you actually have to put your hands in to make them work, they don't go off randomly like the old ones seem to (if someone
me gets too close for instance ).
If you can't get a radar key, I taught my DSs to count to 20. By the time they get to 20 the handdrier should have stopped.
Oops, sorry just saw that she won't tolerate her ears being covered! so my comments are not that helpful!
Guess you will just have to go with radar key.
We got a Radar key and use the disabled loos for DS2 because of the same issue.
Both of my kids (the ASD one and the NT one) are like this with hand dryers. We ended up getting them both ear defenders (the kidz ones from Amazon). Means that they can cover up their ears and not be afraid, and I don't have to go out of my way to find disabled toilets (which I wasn't particularly happy doing: DD is disabled but perfectly capable of going to the toilet on her own, just couldn't handle noisy dryers!)
You can usually get one free from your local council or buy one from here.
I keep meaning to get one for my DS. I won't be able to take him in the ladies with me forever but I have no idea when I will be comfortable with him going in the mens by himself so a disabled toilet is the way forwards I think.
Disabled toilets, hadnt thought of that. How do you get a RADAR key?
Can you get a RADAR key and use the disabled toilets or wipes and anti bac gel so you can run
Ds is also like this and has been known to shout at people using hand driers. We also use baby wipes and he will try to avoid public toilets at all costs. Hadn't thought of using disabled toilets though. That is a good idea.
Dd is like this. We tend to use the disabled loo now for this reason. She has asd and just can't tolerate this noise. If we have to use normal loos we rush in and out and don't wait to wash hands. We just use baby wipes instead so there is less chance of being in there when it is switched on!
My DD is almost 6 and has Ataxic CP along with a host of sensory issues. Last night in a restraunt she needed the loo so when in her cubicle someone came out, washed their hands then dried them under the drier. DD then started screaming at top of her lungs, so bad that she hurt her throat, and shaking. She does this all the time now with hairdryer and hoover but we can avoid these things in the house (a new symptom I am guessing is noise sensitivity). So how on earth do we manage in public places, she was so scared that we couldnt get her to go back into the toilet before we left even though she was bursting as she didnt want the drier to go off. She wont tolerate ear muffs or anything on her ears
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