Day #69 – Fans and Furnaces

Back to the senses for a couple of days….hypersensitivity to sounds.

What is that, exactly?

Well…we have all been there.

Sitting in a quiet classroom.


Test time.

I must do well.  I hate tests.

I must do well.

Child with learning difficulties


Then, it begins.

The sound of someone licking their lips.  I must do well.

The sounds of someone clicking their pencil.  I must do well.

The sound of someone’s swishy pants.  I must do well.


The sounds of the wind outside.  I must do well.

The sound of the birds.  I must do well.

The sound of the clock ticking.  I must do well.


In the summer the sound of the fan…

In the winter the sound of the furnace…

This is exactly what life is like for many children on the spectrum who have a hyper-sensitivity to sound.  They hear everything.  They hear everything while they are…

…trying to listen to a teacher

…trying to list to their parent

…trying to listen to their friend

…trying to concentrate and take a test.

…trying to eat supper with their family in a busy restaurant.

Most of us can block these sounds out – most of us hear the fan and the furnace and then go about our day.  Not these folks – the sounds just keep on playing, buzzing, singing, and ringing.

While ‘hypersensitivity to auditory input’ is the technical phrase…I simply call it ‘too much noise.’ If you look at the list below you can see how Tucker is effected by noise. I’ll actually spend several posts in the future commenting specifically on these items – but for now, just watch this video.

My favorite piece of this video?

Our kids are always doing the best that they can. Always.

To cope with a world that they simply don’t hear the same way that we do.


Hypersensitivity to Sound Checklist (from

_x_ 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

_x_ started with or distracted by loud or unexpected sounds

_x_ bothered/distracted by background environmental sounds; i.e., lawn mowing or outside construction

_x_ frequently asks people to be quiet; i.e., stop making noise, talking, or singing

_x_ runs away, cries, and/or covers ears with loud or unexpected sounds

_x_ may refuse to go to movie theaters, parades, skating rinks, musical concerts etc.

_x_ may decide whether they like certain people by the sound of their voice


5 thoughts on “Day #69 – Fans and Furnaces

  1. Pingback: Day #113 – The Greatest Treasure? Knowledge. | 366 Days of Autism

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  4. Pingback: Day #300 – Getting ‘Better’ – Part 2 | 366 Days of Autism

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