Autism and Auditory Hypersensitivity: Causes and Treatment


A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that autism spectrum disorder prevalence has significantly increased to over 2% of all children in the United States, with an estimated 1 in 28 boys currently with an autism diagnosis.

Professionals working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may find that these children are overly sensitive to sounds. These professionals and parents are often concerned as to why children may have auditory hypersensitivities.

The journal Autism Research and Treatment recently published a peer reviewed article which discusses the neural mechanisms identified underlying hypersensitive hearing in people. I wrote this article with Dr. Jay R. Lucker of Howard University. Our article focuses on brain research to support the idea of the non-classical auditory pathways being involved in connecting the auditory system with the emotional system of the brain. We also discuss brain mechanisms believed to be involved in auditory hypersensitivity, and treatments for hypersensitive hearing.

This Wednesday, February 3rd at 8 pm Eastern, Dr. Jay R. Lucker will join me on The Listening Program Radio to discuss the topic of Autism and Auditory Hypersensitivity, the causes, treatment, and hope for those suffering from sound sensitivities.

Register here for this free program and to ask us a question we can answer live. You’ll receive an email with the call-in number and a web link to listen online 3 hours before the show.

Ouch That Hurts!

Ever annoyed by sounds?

Each of us have sounds we like or dislike, just as we prefer certain foods over others. But some people experience pain with certain sounds, something called hyperacusis. Others dislike some sounds, a condition called misophonia, while others experience phonophobia, a fear of sounds.

These conditions can be difficult to diagnose and hard to treat, although some have found relief with The Listening Program. Interestingly each of these auditory perceptual issues can trigger the body’s physiological response to stress, “fight/flight”.  For years I suffered from hyperacusis (fortunately no longer) and can tell you it can be unbearable at times. These issues can be so debilitating, people who suffer from them may not leave their home in order to avoid the triggers.

Yesterday The New York Times published an interesting article “When a Chomp or a Slurp Is a Trigger for Outrage. It delves into misophonia, and sheds some light on why sounds can trigger rage. If you read it please comment here. I am very interested in your reaction to this information.