Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Petting Zoo, Swimming, and Ears

This is Griffin petting a sheep at the petting zoo the other day. As you can tell he loves to have contact with all kinds of animals. I am going to check into the program that they have here for children with special needs and horseback riding. I don't know at what age he can start but I am sure excited for him to be able to ride a horse. I used to ride horses when I was quite young and they were all that I cared about and loved. Griffin went to O.T. today to the swimming pool as he always does on Tuesdays. He is making lots of progress by communicating with Gayle much better. There is a ledge in the pool where Griffin can stand wiith his head well above the water but if he jumps then he goes into the deep part. He is supposed to let Gayle know that he is jumping off and wait for her to say, "I'm ready" so that he knows that it is safe to jump. Well, he did not and plunged into the water and Gayle caught him but not before his head went under. Boy, what a look of shock on his face and oh what a lesson he learned in that brief moment. But of course, he ended up smiling and laughing after the shock wore off. Now, I am wondering about his ears because he has been holding his hands over his ears lately and I don't know if it means that they are hurting or if it is a sensory issue. I wonder because he is mostly doing it whenever I turn on my TV but he isn't bothered by the sound of his TV or DVD player even when they are going on at the same time. One might even guess that it is a control issue that he is just trying to jerk mommy around but I don't think so. I think that he genuinely is bothered by my TV being on somehow. He will cover his ears and say "No no no no!!!!!" and even begin crying if I refuse to turn it off. Please tell me what you think it might be. Do you think that it is A. His ears are hurting or the sound is hurting his ears. B. It is a control issue or a power struggle/ manipulation on his part C. It is totally a sensory issue and the sound is causing some confusion or genuine irritation. I am taking him into the doctor tomorrow for his ears to be checked just in case it has something to do with the tubes in his ears. I am probably taking him to the pediatrician but will also make an appointment for the ear, nose, and throat doctor too. Please let me know what you think about this issue and maybe any experience that you have had that is similar to this one.


K.C.'sMommy said...

Hi Lora and Griffin,
That is a super cute photo!

Hmmmm, I don't think it is a control thing. I think it's a sensory thing. K.C. does something similar and goes into true panic mode with lots of tears and hands covering ears. I think their ears get used to hearing what they are used to and it takes the longest time for K.C. to adjust to a new sound, if that made any sense.
He may even have an ear ache. Please let us know what the doc says about Griffin:)
Does Griffin like animal books?


Anonymous said...

What is auditory processing disorder?
I am not autistic, but I do have ME/CFS, and one symptom is that we have to work harder to process auditory information. Certainly I prefer to watch TV with subtitles where possible, even though I have no problem with the actual sound volume.

There is a new book about some cases of autism and pollution,,2682-2160195.html

Melissa H said...

I would definitely lean towards a sensory issue. Conor has certain things that bother him consistently: the vacuum cleaner, blender, coffee grinder. But on his more sensitive days, even hand clapping or the raising of my voice can cause him to clap his hands over his ears. Perhaps Griffin is going through some sensitive days?
Best of luck in figuring it out. It's an adventure every day, isn't it?

Kiralea Powell said...

Hi Lora

I really cant explain the ear covering whether is a earache, but Jordan does excactly the same thing.
When we would go to grandmas he would ring the doorbell then quickly cover his ears over & over.

Certain music will come on the radio and he will cover his ears and hum, like he is waiting for the song to finish.I change it immediately when he does this and he will uncover his ears again.

I believe in Jordans case it is a sensory issue and i have observed in other autistic children the same behaviour, they may cover their ears, scream and run away.

TV he will not listen to the credits or the ending of a show and has to turn the volume down otherwise he will cover his ears until the next show starts.

Jordan has only started displaying this behaviour in the last 6 months.

We have also observed for a while now, he at times gets stressed out when strange unfamliar people come to our house. He becomes uncontrollable and difficult. The only method that calms him down is to send him to his room after i have tried to comfort and hold him.

He performed this behaviour when our friends turned up for Chloes birthday party.

I hope this info helps you somewhat and i do believe Griffin is having the same issues as Jordan when it comes to certain sounds and learning how to understand and maybe he is covering up his ears because the sounds sound different to him as it may sound for us.

Take care
and i will be in contact with you soon my friend

love Kiralea and family