People with autism spectrum disorder use headphones or earphones for the same reason many normally developed people do, to listen to music or audiobooks or the radio. Noise-canceling earphones, which are the big ones that have cups that go over your ears, can shut out the rest of the world so they can concentrate on their music.
Noise-canceling earphones are loved by audiophiles people with autism and neurotypical alike for their ability to let them listen to their music undisturbed by the rest of the world.
Autism-related reasons for wearing headphones are mostly sensory. They often have trouble processing sensory information, such as sound. They do not automatically ignore irrelevant information, and they do not easily get used to background noise. Loud, screeching, high-pitched, unpredictable, or chaotic sounds are worst of all.
Some individuals with autism spectrum may suffer from sensory overload, where regular things such as going to the mall, going to the cinema or other relatively crowded and noisy places quickly become unbearable as we, as human beings, are exposed to too much light and noise, and to combat that, they bring headphones, preferable noise-canceling headphones so that they can listen to some soothing music or just block out the noise when they are stressed.
Based on researches, it is estimated that 75% of children with autism spectrum disorder have significant symptoms of sensory processing disorder. So, it is important to know how sensory processing disorder manifests itself in children with autism and how to support sensory processing to help them make sense of it all. In this case, it is very common for them to have a strong sensitivity to sound and as a result, noise reduction headphones for autism can help in such situations.
In the world of individuals with autism spectrum disorders, headphones can be a necessity in order to cope with the world around them. Because they perceive sounds differently than normally developed people. Sometimes, even the noise of every conversation is challenging and becomes overwhelming and irritating resulting in frustration, stress, and anxiety. In fact, noise reduction headphones allow some them to thrive in crowded rooms or the mall.
Noise reduction headphones do not completely eliminate noise. It is particularly suitable for children with autism with auditory sensitivity because it facilitates their participation in potentially loud environments without overexciting their surroundings. For children who cannot tolerate anything worn inside the ear, noise reduction earmuffs can be a great option as they are worn on the ears.
Because of the fact that children with autism spectrum disorder may need noise reduction headphones or ear muffs in some environments, such as school cafeteria, school bus, shopping mall, grocery store, movie theatre, prom, loud and echo-prone environments, concerts, restaurants or even homes.
Why Individuals with Autism Need Headphones/ Earmuffs?
For individuals with autism spectrum disorder, the sensory processing dysfunction can manifest itself in language delays or deficits, fine motor and gross motor delays, strong sensory interests, sensory aversions, an inability to interact with people around them and objects, an inability to establish and stay within an interaction, repetitive sensory stereotypies and much more.
A child with autism may have trouble with filtering sound, distractedness, difficulty with spoken instructions, and they may result in restlessness, impulsiveness, behavioral problems, and meltdowns.
If a child has a low threshold for sensory stimuli, the child may have an over-responsive type of sensory processing disorder. This child becomes very sensitive to sensory stimuli. This oversensitivity or over-responsivity to sensory input limits the child’s willingness to play, explore, and feel safe or comfortable in the environment around them.
This over-responsivity can be referred to as sensory defensiveness sometimes. Because of the fact that the child often defends himself/herself, avoids or tries to minimize the exposure to these sensations. Sensory defensiveness can be observed in any or all sensory systems and the child will avoid or become irritated by sensations, eliciting a physiological response.
Sensory aversions for some children are specific to one area of sensory input. A child seeking spoken input can constantly lick non-food objects or, while his mouth is open, a child who avoids oral input can eat a very limited diet of certain tissues.
When a child is over-responsive or defensive to auditory input, the try to avoid every noise that disturbs them. These children overreact to auditory information and it contributes to difficulties with self-regulation. Auditory sensitivities can lead to being stimulated overly by notice. This can be imperative to have some auditory sensory tools. These sensory tools can be headphones or earmuffs
Headphones can help keep individuals with autism calm. Even some of the headphones can reduce noise levels to about 25 decibels. However, this does not mean that they can no longer hear anything going on around them. It means that the noise is simply reduced to a level that is more manageable.
Earphones can help by being able to control the volume, and even better to have the option of canceling out outside noise. Children with autism may spend an hour or so at the end of the day wearing noise-canceling headphones, just as a cool-down period. And of course, there are some other reasons why they wear earphones. It could be just to listen to music and other media without bugging others.
Effectiveness of Headphones/ Earmuffs for Coping with Auditory Stimuli in Individuals with Autism
There are some studies showing that even though the effectiveness of using noise cancellation headphones was not statistically significant, it was found that block sound earmuffs could be useful for children with autism. And also, headphones reducing ambient sounds could be beneficial only for those who are not affected by human voices. Studies also show that headphones and earmuffs can be used in order to help to deal with unpleasant sensory auditory stimuli.
There are many headphones available that range in size, price, and capabilities that you can find on Amazon. Thus, there is a short list of headphones that can help keep an individual with autism calm and anxiety-free in overwhelming situations.
Amplim Hearing Protection Earmuff for Toddlers, Teens, and Adults. Noise Cancelling Headphones for Kids. Autism Spectrum Ear Defenders – Airplane, Concert, Outdoor, School
This product has 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon and comes in about 17 dollars with shipping. It is one of the most recommended and preferred product on Amazon. It has 6 different color options which are greenery, living coral, radiant yellow, rose quartz/ pale pink, serenity/ baby blue, and ultraviolet.
Even it is best for 2 years old children or older, it provides safety sound noise canceling for toddlers, kids, infants, small adults, and babies. It is suitable even for a 2 months old baby. We can say that it is excellent for noise sensitive toddlers. And at the same time, they are adjustable for an adult to child because its headband suits various head sizes.
This noise canceling headphone is ideal for protecting children’s ears from excessive noise. It partially reduces the noise but still, it becomes very low and it is fairly enough for them. It helps calm sensitivity to sounds which helps individuals with an autism spectrum disorder to have increased success at school. Also handy for use when out at social gatherings and things get too loud.
It effectively reduces the noise level which is caused by loud music, concert, airport, construction, sleeping, outdoor activities, sporting events, racing, large crowds, movies, machinery, mowing, garden and household tools, woodworking, shooting range hunting ear protection. Thus, it is best for students or simply individuals with an autism spectrum disorder in order to block out crowds and other triggers. https://www.amazon.com/Protection-Earmuff-Headphone-Amplim-Headphones/dp/B074W79YC3
Muted Designer Hearing Protection For Infants & Kids – Adjustable Children’s Ear Muffs from Toddler to Teen (Aero Gray, Flamingo-go, Geometric Leaf, Origamisaurus, Rainbow Hearts)
This product has 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon and it comes about 25 dollars with shipping. You can buy the best-fitted design based on your child’s interests. It is a highly recommended product.
It is a kind of lifesaver product for kids who need extra hearing protection due to sensory sensitivity, autism spectrum disorder or Asperger’s syndrome. They are not just functional, they are also fashionable. They are stylish and unique products. It comes in fashionable patterns that the kids with autism will want to wear, even the normally developed kids have asked to try them on. Muted’s unique patterns and colors will match even the most demanding kids’ styles and preferences.
They are definitely the most well-made and stylish earphones/muffs. These Muted headphones definitely stand apart and look awesome. The quality seems good, especially the head strap. The packaging is nice too.
These are softer around the head and cover the ears better without any gaps. They can fit kids from various ages very well and do not leave any red marks on the face. The fun colors/patterns are just an added bonus to this fabulous product.
It has an adjustable, soft headband and cushioned ear cups which create comfortable fit from toddler to teen. They are easy to carry because they are light weighted and collapse to an easy packing size. You can go wherever life takes you with them. They are perfectly designed for sporting events, concerts, fireworks and life’s everyday loud noises. https://www.amazon.com/Muted-Designer-Hearing-Protection-Infants/dp/B075Y1FYC8
Baby Headphones Safety Ear Muffs Noise Reduction for Newborn Infant Autism Kids Toddlers Sound Cancelling Headphones for Sleeping Studying Airplane Concerts Movie Theater Fireworks (Blue/ Pink)
This product has 3.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Its price is very reasonable to buy which is around 15 dollars.
It is light weighted enough for baby to wear. It is made from infant friendly and skin friendly materials baby earmuffs for noise, thus it is suitable for newborns, infants, and kids. You do not need to worry about the bad smell, it is fragile and falling apart after using it.
It has an adjustable size so it fits nicely without being tight. So one size should fit most. There are unisex color options and it makes them perfect for both girls and boys who are ages 0-5 years and up. It blocks loud noises and it will be more comfortable for them instead of earplugs. There is comfy cloth cover the headband in order to ensure all over comfort.
The earpieces have padding, so they are comfortable to wear. Plus, they will not hurt your ears while wearing them. The noise canceling headphones for kids offer protection as designed with 2 layers of professional noise dampening sponge, thickening solid cups to keep your children secure from hearing loss.
It really does work. Wearing these will help protect your children’s ears for loud noises. They are great to have on hand. These baby ear muffs noise protection perfect for blocking noise caused by any event. They can effectively attenuate harmful loud noises without shutting out other ambient sounds.
Baby Headphones Safety Ear Muffs are the perfect choice for various activities. For example, mowing the yard or with workshop projects; going to sporting events, live music events or air shows; music concerts or band rehearsals; watching shooting or gun competitions and hunting; movie theaters or theme park rides; and calming young children, children with autism spectrum disorder and kiddos with sensory processing disorder in noisy environments.
While cleaning, you should clean only earmuff surface. You should do it with neutral soap and warm water. It should be careful about submerging in water. After buying this product, you do not need to hesitate to go to an event again with your kid with autism because of loud noises. https://www.amazon.com/Headphones-Reduction-Toddlers-Cancelling-Fireworks/dp/B0781XWRCS
Fun and Function Noise Reduction Headphones for Kids with Autism, Auditory Processing Disorder or Sound Sensitivity – Blue – Ages 5+
This product has 3.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon and it comes in about 35 dollars.
It is recommended for children ages 5 and older with an autism spectrum disorder, auditory processing disorder, and sound sensitivity. Those children often have trouble processing large amounts of background noise while maintaining the ability to stay focused. So, these Fun and Function headphones will rectify that problem. Because of the fact that it reduces noise up to 20 decibels.
They could be a perfect solution for noisy places, such as birthday parties, airports, lunchrooms or sporting events, which can be overwhelming for kids with autism. These headphones eliminate extraneous noise and maximize concentration so children can stay focused on the task at hand but allows nearby speech through so they can participate in their surroundings. They help to reduce the child’s stress and anxiety.
These headphones are made of a combination of plastic and metal in order to provide long-term durability and strength. Meanwhile, plush foam, padded ear cups gently rest on ears to provide optimal comfort for hours on end. Lightweight and portable, you can easily take them everywhere you go in order to eliminate noise and maximize concentration. https://www.amazon.com/Reduction-Headphones-Auditory-Processing-Sensitivity/dp/B01MPZMKV2
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling (Black, Silver)
This product has 4.3 outs of 5 stars on Amazon and it comes about 300 dollars. The price is fairly high but it is good with the quality.
Bose is the king of noise canceling headphones, but also the highest price. They were the first to popularize noise canceling headphones and also create professional sets for pilots. Bose also makes in-ear headphones that cancel noise even better than over the ear headphones, but they may be more or less comfortable depending on your preferences. These are what most people with autism spectrum use and they are life-changing.
It has wireless connectivity technology. World-class noise cancellation it has makes quiet sound quieter and music sound better. Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system provides clear calls even in windy environments. https://www.amazon.com/Bose-QuietComfort-Wireless-Headphones-Cancelling/dp/B01E3SNO1G
BANZ Kids Headphones – Hearing Protection Earmuffs For Children – ADJUSTABLE headband to fit all ages – Protect Kids Ears
This product has 3.9 out of 5 stars according to customers’ review on Amazon and it comes about 25 dollars. It has 23 different color options and styles which are baseball, black, blue, butterfly, camo green, dark green, geo print, dark purple, lime, magenta, maroon, navy, orange, pink, pink peace doodle, squiggle, sports, transport, turquoise, USA flag, white, pink camo and yellow.
BANZ headphones are the best hearing earmuffs on the market for kids. They are designed especially for children 6 months and up. The headband fits children all ages. The wide, foam-filled cushions ensure that your child is comfortable.
They provide everyday protection. They are perfect for all sorts of activities including when you take your kid with autism to an event with a lot of noise, such as a festival, parade, carnival, party, wedding, sports events or motor races; when you take your kid with autism outside on New Year’s Eve; when you do DIY chores in your house or garden which produce a lot of noise, such as drilling, grinding or cutting grass; and when a brother or sister plays music, puts on a show or has a sports event.
BANZ provides sensitive care and sensible choice. They block harmful noise and protect hearing. They are easy to storage and portability. They easily fit in travel bags allowing them to be ready when it is needed most. They have stylish designs and unique color options according to users’ preferences. They are strong enough to withstand damage and wear from frequent use. https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Banz-Earmuffs-Hearing-Protection/dp/B002SW3EZG
Stalwart 75-ER3 Hawk Extra Comfort Hearing Protection, Fully Adjustable Ear Muff
It provides cost-effective hearing protection. It comes in about 7 dollars. They are cheap and functional ear muffs.
If you are looking for quality ear protection at a great value that can fit just about everyone, especially individuals with autism spectrum disorder? These earmuffs are exactly what you are looking for with an incredibly comfortable fit. Because it has individually rotating ear cups that provide a great fit. The muffs are fully adjustable on the sides and the headband easily stretches to fir up to 8-Inch wide.
The muffs are soft, padded ear cup for added comfort. They block the noise out enough in order to let people enjoy the sounds. Besides all, they are ultra-lightweight to use. https://www.amazon.com/Stalwart-75-ER3-Comfort-Protection-Adjustable/dp/B003HJ86J8
HearTek Kids Earmuffs Hearing Protection with Travel Bag- Junior Ear Defenders for Children, Padded Baby Ear Protection, Infants, Small Adults, Women – Adjustable Protector Noise Reduction Ear Muffs
It has 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon based on customers’ reviews and it comes in about 13 dollars. It has 10 different color options, bubble pink, camo, dark blue, dark green, electric lime, sports white, licorice black, ocean blue, lavender and glowing red.
The company’s mission is to keep people’s hearing safe. Loud noises cause permanent damage, so kids and adults need earmuffs that are comfortable and that fit to safely block out sound. It is a great product with a ton of uses and reasonably priced. It is available in many sizes, styles, and colors to suit all needs.
It can be used by individuals with autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing disorder. Even if you have anxiety and need to block out the world, it helps too. This product makes sleeping easier. They are comfortable and easy to use. It is ideal for a concert, festivals, firework or air show, monster jam truck, shooting range, sports events, special needs children or if you or your children have sensory needs and sensitivities.
Even though they are not adjustable, but really if you just slide them over your head they will fit just fine. The self-adjusting ear cups and headband makes it easy to find the perfect fit and seal against noise. The ear cups are specially designed to fit smaller ears ensuring a snug and proper fit.
It is made from water-resistant vinyl material and it makes it durable and easy to clean. The padded and ear cups provide a comfortable fit with enhanced sound cancellation. Also, they come with a cool little bag to carry them. https://www.amazon.com/HearTek-Earmuffs-Protection-Defenders-Children/dp/B07CP35T7P