Yesterday day Tate’s therapist began a new program. It’s a listening program designed to help him discern various environmental sounds. Nate has auditory sensitivity. He also has the keenest hearing I have ever witnessed. Unfortunately, the fact that he can hear the slightest whir, whoosh, tick, and click can produce incredible amounts of anxiety and stress. His anxiety causes him to shut down and become unable to focus or process anything else around him.
The program is designed to help him discern and label sounds so that he can have less anxiety. Yesterday, the therapist started with 10 fairly common environmental sounds. Tate got 8 of 10 correct. He got 5 of 10 correct without any prompts. That’s pretty good. The plan is to introduce a few new sounds every few days to see if he can label them correctly and tolerate them.
Considering that one of the most common phrases out of Tate’s mouth is, “What’s that noise?”, I think this is a beneficial program for him. I hope he can tolerate it well. I did express my concern that he may start to shut down, even if he is able to label a sound. The therapist assured me that if they see him starting to shut down, they will end that program for the day. No one wants him to be in his unhappy place.
The first 10 sounds they went over were: wind, water, bird, toilet flush, telephone, TV, bell, knock, car, and dog barking. Most of these were ones that they knew Tate would know and would tolerate well without too much anxiety. There were pictures laid out and when he heard the noise, he had to point to the picture. He got bird, toilet flush, bell, water and dog barking all right without prompting. He got car, wind, and telephone with prompts. He could not figure out TV and knock.
The therapist said that knock is hard, but they’ll work on it. When they played the sound of a TV, which was the fuzzy “cable-is-out” noise and then what sounded like a tv show, Tate got confused. He said that the picture wasn’t there for it. So he KNEW it was a TV..but the picture of the TV that the therapist had was of an old TUBE TV. It was big, boxy, and had knobs on it. Tate kept telling her he did not hear the sound of the MICROWAVE anywhere!
Touche! The therapist said she had to mark it incorrect in the program, but that she knows that if she had an updated image, he would have likely gotten it with prompts. She made a note to replace the visual with a new image…because she had to concede that the old tube tv’s do kind of look like microwaves…all big and boxy and knobby.
Man, I love my kid….