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Why do autistic people cover their ears?



Why do autistic people cover their ears?

When we cover our ears that's usually to protect ourselves.

We can be very sensitive to sound and so it can hurt sometimes.

Our ears may not be more acute than yours but our brains can process sound differently. This means some sounds can feel really loud. 

This is called Sensory Processing Disorder.


Sensory Processing

Sensory processing disorder means we can become overloaded by sensory information such as noise and vibrations from music, traffic, and voices.

Sensory overload can lead us to melt or shut down; which are extreme stress responses where we lose control of ourselves and that can be terrifying.


How can you help?

You can help us by:

  • reducing the noise and sensory input

  • using noise cancelling headphones

  • background noise to help mask some of the unpleasant noise

  • quiet spaces and quiet hours

  • recognition our triggers so we can avoid them

  • be understanding when we feel overwhelmed​