What is Hearing?

Hearing is our sense of sound

and it allows us to interpret noises from our environment.

It allows us to detect tone and pitch, a sounds direction and proximity to us, its volume and its timing, and so can tell us if we are in danger or convey verbal information.

What does under-sensitivity look like?

audio

If you are under sensitive to it you might:

- not notice sounds such as being spoken to

- have difficulty recognising tone or pitch

- miss verbal cues such as sarcasm emphasis or emotion

- seek out sounds or make your own like banging objects or being in crowded noisy spaces

- have difficulty understanding language or conveying emotion in your voice

What helps?

Things such as:

- visual cues to support verbal information

- five-point scales to help them know their speaking volume

- avoiding sarcasm - if the person has difficulty with this

- communicating emotions verbally so there's no confusion

- allowing us to listen to background music or noise such as white noise as this can help provide stimulation and keep us engaged

What does over-sensitivity look like?

If you're oversensitive to it you might:
- notice tiny noises that others wouldn't and be bothered by them

- have difficulty recognizing tone or pitch

- have difficulty with things such as sarcasm or emphasis

- not always notice danger or being spoken to

- seek out certain sounds or make your own to replace unpleasant ones from around you

- find a lot of noise too much and that this noise can hurt

- avoid noisy places

bang sign

What helps?

- noise-cancelling headphones or ear defenders and background music.

- avoiding loud and busy places

- avoid sarcasm if the person has difficulty with this

- try to communicating emotions verbally or using visual supports

- give extra time to allow them to process all the information

- warn before loud situations

- having strategies such as having a safe space to go to can help