20 answers

My Son Covers His Ears When Its Really Loud or He Gets Scared

He has had his hearing checked and has passed so I dont think its that..He covers his ears when we go into the theatre or if he is watching something and he is afraid its going to be scary (which I do not allowed him nor anyone in my home to watch things that would scare my children..I HATE that kind of stuff) Im not sure whats going on..he also gets very anxious about things..like when we were out to dinner the other night a man at a table across the way had fajita's and there was steam coming off the plate and you could hear it. well he FREAKED! then his dad (my DH) had ordered the same thing and he started crying when it came to the table freaking out!! he calmed down but it took him a little bit...I dont know what to make of this..he seems to do well in all other areas but these.. I know that you all are not doctors so I dont plan to hear a true diagnosis just maybe a few words of wisdom..thanks My son is 4.5 yrs old.. Just to clarify I DONT think anything is wrong but my sister wonders so its got me wondering...thanks!

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well we found out that this is just something kids go through at this age ..He doesnt freak out with all loud noises just some..He will be tested in a couple of months if things dont improve..Thanks for all the info and advice.

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Maybe he is just oversensitive to certain sounds. My daughter (she is 3) started covering her ears with loud noises around 2. In a movie theater she will actually wear earmuffs to muffle the loud noise so she can watch it. She will also cover her ears at fireworks. I don't think anything is wrong with her, just very sensitive to loud noises around her.

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I used to freak out when I heard a chain saw.....anywhere in the neighborhood....I would start screaming and covering my ears. I have no idea why I did that. I can deal with it better now but still absolutely hate the sound of a saw (makes DIY woodworking projects a pain). I am also sensitive to very bright lights as well - causes pain.
My 7yo son is sensitive to sounds as well......I think some people are just more sensitive to that than others. No worries as long as it doesn't interfere with daily life.

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hi-
he might have auditory defensiveness. how old is he? Other questions to consider …
http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-proces...

_ distracted by sounds not normally noticed by others; i.e., humming of lights or refrigerators, fans, heaters, or clocks ticking
__ fearful of the sound of a flushing toilet (especially in public bathrooms), vacuum, hairdryer, squeaky shoes, or a dog barking
__ started with or distracted by loud or unexpected sounds
__ bothered/distracted by background environmental sounds; i.e., lawn mowing or outside construction
__ frequently asks people to be quiet; i.e., stop making noise, talking, or singing
__ runs away, cries, and/or covers ears with loud or unexpected sounds
__ may refuse to go to movie theaters, parades, skating rinks, musical concerts etc.
__ may decide whether they like certain people by the sound of their voice

If you think he does have auditory defensiveness and you feel that it is interfering with his ability to function you may want to consider an evaluation by a pediatric occupational therapist

Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

You can't know why people get scared of certain things. Some people are just a little bit more sensitive than others, and some have an acute sense of hearing, or smell, or touch or taste.

Some of these things kids will outgrow. Just life experience demonstrates that these things are not scary. I'm sure you can think back to things you used to be scared of that you aren't anymore.

Also, I can think of lots of adults that are scared of things that they don't know, aren't expecting or don't understand. For a child, the world is full of things that they don't understand or aren't expecting. I would imagine the best thing to do is explain about whatever it is when your son's not freaking out and let him experience it in a safe manner.

A parent's personality can also influence the way a child reacts. I'm not saying YOU do this, but I've seen plenty of moms or dads freak out at every little thing "Junior, don't touch that! Don't go there! Don't XYZ!" and that may lead to a child that is more frightened of new things.

If you truly think that there is something wrong (you don't say how old your son is) then I would seek the opinion of a doctor.

2 moms found this helpful

He might have some sensory issues. He obviously can hear really well. I would watch him and see when he covers his ears and whent he stops. Write it down. Write everything down that seems just a bit different, then ask his dr. I am always having to "decode" behavior because my daughter has autism and she has sensory issues too. She covers her ears for the vacumn, running water, places that are noisy. She has super sonic hearing and maybe your son could have super hearing too! We recently bought my daughter headphones( they are specifically for special needs kids, so they really help to block out noise) and they are sooooooo helpful to her. She can not handle her little brother crying or babies in general.. That is hard. Just guessing on why he might have started crying about the fajitas, it might have been that he could see the steam from them and knew they were SUPER HOT. And things that are super hot causes you to get hurt, or maybe it very well could be that he is that sensitive to the sound.. If you get the chance to see the movie, TEMPLE GRANDIN, watch it. It was on HBO. It is a true story about Temple, who has autism, and the viewer is watching it from the inside perspective of what she feels and hears and see. It is really good. Please know that I am not saying I think your son has a disorder or anything, but there is something called sensory processing disorder, which affects sensory issues!!

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My son does this too. He is now 6.5 and has it a little more under control, probably becasue he is older and has experienced more things so he is not as nervous. Mine is very nervous about new things. His teacher will always pull him aside and let him know they are going to have a fire drill becasue the first time he was very upset by the unexpected loud noise.

Mine is just extra sensitive. We take time before actives just to let him know briefly of what to expect so he doesn't have to be anxious about it. Mine son has gotten a lot better in the past 2 years, so I'm sure yours will too as he gets older. (at 4.5 I can see my son getting upset about the fajitas too).
I don't think anything is wrong with my son either, but I have also had family members give me the eye roll when mine covers his ears....

1 mom found this helpful

It definitely sounds like your son has sensory issues. You may want to talk to the pediatrician to see if he should get some occupational therapy. Does he freak out a lot about sound issues? My daughter has high-functioning autism/Asperger's, and she does have some sensory issues with loud noises, but hers is pretty mild. She had other behavior issue that pointed to Asperger's! If you son is fine socially and in other ways, but is just hyper-sensitive to sound, he might just need some OT to help him out!

Also, just and FYI, many theaters now have screenings for children monthly that are more sensory-friendly. They don't make the theater as dark, and the volume isn't turned up as high! Check it out in your area! Quite frankly, I think the sound volume in a typical theater screening is insanely loud!

C.
www.littlebitquirky.blogspot.com
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1 mom found this helpful

I used to freak out when I heard a chain saw.....anywhere in the neighborhood....I would start screaming and covering my ears. I have no idea why I did that. I can deal with it better now but still absolutely hate the sound of a saw (makes DIY woodworking projects a pain). I am also sensitive to very bright lights as well - causes pain.
My 7yo son is sensitive to sounds as well......I think some people are just more sensitive to that than others. No worries as long as it doesn't interfere with daily life.

1 mom found this helpful

He sounds sensitive. My daughter does the same thing. She is more of an introvert, we are a fairly quiet family, but she has been sensitive to noise from birth. We give her a lot of explanation as to what it is, why it might be loud. When something is loud I will comfort, explain, let her not like it, but explain why others might... I just heard a talk on NPR about noise pollution and how stress is related to our world becoming increasingly louder. Maybe your son is just wise: )

J.

1 mom found this helpful

I've had extremely sensitive hearing all my life, and although I didn't cover my ears routinely, I started doing that at an early age, and still do, when the sound reaches a certain pitch, because it simply hurts. Or when the sound is grating or abrasive, because my teeth and bones literally hurt. Bright light gets me, too. And fabric textures; certain kinds of touch.

So in my 60's, I finally hear this described as Sensory Processing Disorder. How cool is that – my discomfort has a name! But it's not just a burden. It's kind of a gift, too, because there are lots of wonderful sounds and sensations that I seem to notice more easily and enjoy more than other people.

You might get your son some ear plugs that he can carry and use in loud environments. They can be as cheap and simple as those little compressible foam "corks." There are also types that can hang over the shoulders on a cord for easy access.

I have a friend whose autistic son is easily panicked by loud sounds, and he can be undone by something as simple as group singing. She got him a set of headphone-style ear protectors, which he thinks is very cool. He can now stay in a room comfortably while other people are having fun making their noises.

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