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Q&A: Sensitivity to Sounds and Light?


I am working with a child who covers his ears at any out-of-the-ordinary sound and is also sensitive to light. Do you have any suggestions for addressing these issues?


There aren’t really any quick fixes for these types of sensitivities. You can suggest keeping sunglasses handy and allowing him to listen to preferred music on an iPod if they are going somewhere that may have bothersome sounds.

I highly suggest completing the Sensory Symptoms Checklist found on our website. However, you may use another sensory screening tool. Most likely these sensitivities are part of a bigger picture of UNDER- and OVER-responsiveness. Usually, we need to address the needs of the near sensory systems first (Proprioception, Vestibular, and Tactile). Take a close look at any symptoms that show up in those three categories. Once you address the needs of the near sensory systems, the child will have fewer issues handling input from the far sensory systems (including lights and sounds). I hope that makes sense!

Best Wishes,