The immense variety in auditory sensations we have access to may cause us to grow immune to many of these, but for an autistic child, each day brings a new sensory challenge and he needs to pay special attention to these sounds surrounding him; caregivers must be made aware of the importance of helping an autistic child learn and adapt to new auditory stimulation and differentiate between good and bad auditory experiences that can be damaging for them.
As a result of the autistic disorder, a child may suffer from hearing certain sounds, especially loud and abrasive ones, such as a rubbish disposal system or that of a vacuum cleaner and a child that is frightened will clam up to make learning a negative experience, which is not at all desirable for him. Any sounds that frighten an autistic child are detrimental to learning and cause a stop to any progress the child can make; e.g. an autistic child learning to flush a toilet by himself can find the sound of water gushing out also too intense and halt the learning process, unconsciously.
Thus, similar learning issues may crop up due to fear in an autistic child and parents must be made aware of this possibility (of sounds being disconcerting) to their child so as to enable learning progress in an appropriate manner; eliminating the disturbing sound or providing the child with earplugs are 2 effective ways.
At times, parents of autistic children report that their child is keenly fixated on a certain sound, be it the vacuum cleaner or something else. It is then suggested that these sounds be used as a learning tool to stimulate auditory learning in a child such as weaving educational tales around the sound to educate the child. Besides this method, there are others also to teach about auditory stimulation to an autistic child, each with their pros and cons.
The method of auditory stimulation comes with advantages and disadvantages both since some sounds can promote learning while others actually hinder the environment conducive to learning in an autistic child. In the latter instance, caregivers must seek to find and replace the frightening sounds with others to benefit an autistic child’s learning environment to make learning a positive experience for the autistic child. Only dedicated trial and error through experimenting with different sounds and the autistic child can help caregivers determine which are hindering or promoting auditory stimulation and eventually, emotional and intellectual growth the child, so it is a recommended method.