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Noise reducing earplugs - any experience for ASD DC?

(8 Posts)
eskimomama Wed 27-Apr-16 15:51:26

Hi all

DD (6, non verbal ASD), has had a noise reducing helmet for a couple years, and it has been very helpful, especially as it creates a gentle pressure on the sides of her head when the noise gives her a headache.
Our speech therapist thinks we should move on to earplugs though, as they are "more discreet in social situations" (waiting rooms, playgrounds, family events etc.), easier to carry around and DD could learn to put them on as needed. The therapist said she sees teenagers on the spectrum who use them and it works better than the helmet as nobody notices the earplugs (as opposed to the big pink helmet that draws immediate attention from other people).

Have you any experience with those? Any brands to recommend?
I'm suspecting DD will reject the earplugs because of her sensory issues, but maybe worth trying for the reasons above?


shazzarooney99 Wed 27-Apr-16 17:45:18

The audiologist can give you specail hearing aids which are noise reduction ones they start with pink noise first then move onto white noise, my son has these for Hypercussis, which is certain noise.

eskimomama Wed 27-Apr-16 17:59:40

Thanks shazza. I've asked an audiologist but they've said it's pretty expensive to make a "proper" earplug with them, and it needs to be redone every year to adapt to the ear canal's growth too. So I thought I'd try with "regular shop-bought" earplugs first, in case she really hates them... confused I didn't know the audiologist's type is for different types of noises.

shazzarooney99 Wed 27-Apr-16 20:03:08

Yeh we were reffered to the audiologist to rule out any hearing problems and thats when the audiologist told me he had hypercussis, certain noises like hand dryers or school fire alarm are horrendous for him and after a few visits the audiologist suggested the noise generators so that it is not as painful for him.I think its like a desensitation sort of thing.

Andro Thu 28-Apr-16 00:42:57

It's really difficult to recommend earplugs because there are so many different shapes/textures/materials, I would suggest start soft and basic (if she will wear earphones start with a similar shape. Be aware that more so than ear defenders, earplugs can be really disorienting and that can be scary (personal experience of both, but never had a helmet so I have no comparison there).

The noise generators work really well for some people as the different noise types can cut out the painful sounds - like most things though they don't work for everyone and the sensitivity can't always be desensitised.

shazzarooney99 - I hope the noise generators work for your son, hyperacusis is horrific to live with.

Melawati Thu 28-Apr-16 13:39:53

DD uses these
They do a few different types that work with different frequencies of sound.
She wouldn't wear ear defenders as they stand out too much, but if she'd been happy to I think they would have been a better choice. The ear plugs are fiddly and easily lost. She is 13 so can wear the over the counter ones, I'm not sure what you could get for a child.
For your DD I wonder if she minds that the helmet is noticeable? It sounds like she gets sensory input from it that might be calming, not just the noise reduction so perhaps it's still the best choice for her.

eskimomama Fri 29-Apr-16 15:26:58

Thank you * melawati* I was actually looking at the same brand for their basic model.
I did read about the earplugs being fiddly and easily lost. I bring the ear defenders to school too so DD is used to having them, although she won't ask for them if needed, we must offer her to wear them. However she'll easily take them off when she doesn't need them anymore (typically 10 min). She won't care what people think but she will not like the stares.

I don't know, the OT thinks we should just keep using the ear defenders (she thinks they might be taken for fancy earphones) and the speech therapist says we should use earplugs... I might just get the basic type and let DD decide smile

eskimomama Fri 29-Apr-16 15:28:06

good point andro about earplugs being disorienting - didn't think of that

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