Thursday, May 8, 2008

Auditory Irritants

Since my eyesight began heading out west (if you've seen it, send it back home, ok?) my hearing has kicked up a couple of notches and I'm getting all sorts of messages from alien space craft high pitched noises that are used everyday.

Mobile phone ring tones, alarms, etc created in the really, really high range that supposedly only people under the age of 25 (and I am soooo over that age I've forgotten what it was) can hear are starting to catch my attention.
This is what a lot of autistic kids have screeching into their head space every day.

I've never been one for crowded shopping areas but now I'm an avid fan of those deserted late night shopping malls (that are usually featured in B grade horror flicks) where you can hold a polo tournament without hitting anyone.
I can stand in my kitchen and hear the electrical hum as the mobile phone is recharged.
I can warn The Spouse and shopkeepers when a light is about to blow - The Spouse has learned that I'm always right and it's futile to argue with me after he's had to change the bulb in the pitch dark a few times.
The dogs and I run a competition to see who can hear someone walking in the front gate first (current score is them-5, me-4).

Listening to music or watching shows like Spicks and Specks sometimes drives me out of the room depending on the music they're playing; sometimes those 80's romantic pop songs ( that abused synthersisers until even the lead singer's ears bled) hit certain pitches that are like red hot needles of pain in my ear drums.

So I'm getting a tiny glimpse into what motivates autistic kids' behaviour.
I've taught myself to completely tune out - or rather, I've rediscovered the childhood ability to tune out anything and everything around me.
You know, that thing kids do that drives us parents up the wall?
Well, suffer in your jocks, I can so do it again whilst standing on my headrazz
And it drives my kids up the wall.
Bwaahahahahahahahahahaha Revenge!twisted


  1. This has come up a lot in America where some parents of autistic children welcome research into a cure/cause but others want to leave it as part of the human condition. One mother on a forum became very distressed in trying to explain that she just wanted relief for the pain her child experiences. Temple Grandin in an interview said how she only wore clothing from second hand shops because new clothes were unbearable on her skin.
    I hope you're using your spidey senses for good and not evil.

  2. jahteh hit the nail on the head. The higher functioning on the spectrum don't seem to have these sensory problems to the extent of the lower functioning people.

    So of course they can't understand that it could be worse for someone else. Hello theory of mind...

    Hope this is just a temporary thing for you Jayne. That would drive me insane.

  3. wow - love what you have done with this blog ... thought you have gone over to the other side too.

    I have a moderate hearing problem but I get auditory irritants too -must be frequency related.

    I can't imagine what it must be like for autistic kids to not be able to turn the sounds off.

  4. Bugger, Jahteh, you mean I have to play nice with my spidey senses?:P

    "That would drive me insane."
    You mean you haven't joined us on the dark side yet, Kelley ?

    Thanks Trish, just some overdue spring cleaning lol ;)
    I'm only getting a tiny taste of what autistic kids get, Temple Grandin and Donna Williams describe it brilliantly in their books, though.

  5. Oh Jayne get with the program! I've been selectively tuning out for years now, but then again I am male so i guess it just comes naturally to us :) I once got told by a work colleague that I'd make a great husband because of my ability to tune out when she would be telling me important information :)

  6. "The higher functioning on the spectrum don't seem to have these sensory problems to the extent of the lower functioning people."

    That must make me the lowest functioning person on the planet then, 'cos I can't stand noise. Squealing kids, bonking seagulls, the sound of Michelle rabbitting on because I haven't done the shopping!

    My ears are incredibly sensitive and the world is an intolerable nightmare. At least it was, until the ever so slightly higher functioning than some people might expect from someone like me bit of my brain kicked in, and I bought myself a set of earplugs.

  7. TVAu - so, in reality, I'm just getting in touch with my masculine side more ?
    Chuck us a tinny love an' grab one for yerself - how's that ?!

    But I bet you could hear the siren call of a bacon butty through those earplugs from over a mile away, Brian :P

  8. Wow Jayne, you can talk pom! I've only ever heard of a bacon butty (well actually a chip butty) from my pommy ex?-partner, so I'm assuming it's a pommism.

    I'm a bit like you. I get quite irritated if the TV is too loud, or actually at the volume my daughter thinks is just right. Jaylen's school teacher noticed that he covers his ears more when he has recently had his hair cut. Go figure. Maybe he has a cold-ear sensitivity rather than an aural one??

  9. LOL Thanks Hilary.
    We love our bacon butty's around here ;)
    A friend's son has his hat pulled down over his ears in class to keep his ears warm -drives the teacher nuts, but it keeps the kid happy ;)

  10. Gives you a unique perspective

    Suffer in ya jocks aye? lmao