Dealing with children with autism can be a real challenge – and that can be doubly painful for parents. The best headphones for autism help parents manage one characteristics of autism – oversensitivity to sound.
Unlike regular kids, those afflicted with autism tend to be more sensitive to sound compared. A child with autism can hear the revolutions of car engines as far as half a mile away. He can hear the neighbors’ air-conditioning unit or audio system at low setting or even the occasional squeaks when opening a door. At the mall, he can hear his favorite music several blocks away.
While having a keen sense of hearing seems positive, it does have a downside. It can result in overexposure to audio stimuli, including unwanted noise. All these noise can quickly become stressors. Any sudden noise can easily startle them that can trigger tantrums, often difficult to pacify.
Moreover, when kids can hear different sounds simultaneously, it becomes very difficult to focus on a single task. And for very young kids, discerning which sounds to focus is too much to handle. The constant assault of noise can make it difficult for these kids to rest. It’s like there’s always something happening all the time. Some kids tend to be stressed out and the level of anxiety escalates.
Techniques to calm a child
Once a child with autism starts temper tantrums, pacifying them can be very difficult. Some techniques that you can use to calm your kids:
- Find the potential triggers and take steps to remove them.
- Use massages or weighted blankets.
- Divert the child’s attention into something pleasurable or happy, such as humming a tune, making silly faces, hand gestures, etc.
- Stay calm and don’t panic.
- Use aromatherapy with relaxing scents like chamomile and lavender.
- Earmuffs or noise-cancelling headphones block the auditory stimuli and help pacify your kid quickly.
- Bring the kid to a relaxing environment.
- Warm baths can also help calm the child.
How can headphones help them?
For quite a long time, the use of noise-cancelling headphones for children has been among the easiest ways to pacify and prevent temper tantrums, especially for kids with autism. Headphones provide protection from loud noise and sounds that are otherwise impossible to avoid.
Take note that kids may also be sensitive to touch and might find the earmuffs uncomfortable. Be sure to choose ear protection that do not only muffles sound but also provide maximum comfort.
So, what are some of the best headphones for autism? Here are seven options you might want to look at:
Coming from the trusted maker of hearing protectors, the Snug Safe n Sound Kids Earmuffs are a must have for kids with autism aged 6 months and up. The foldable and adjustable headband ensures comfort for its user. Since it is foldable, it is easy to pack in your bag and carried.
Among the different brands of earmuffs out there, Snug’s offers the most number of color choices. They are available in seven different colors (red, yellow, blue, pink, green, purple, black, and aquamarine).
In terms of noise cancellation properties, these earmuffs can block loud noises such as those in industrial workplaces, airports, concerts and sports events. More importantly, for autistic children, Snug’s earmuffs can effectively cancel auditory triggers preventing tantrums. The clamshell-shaped design ensures that the earmuffs fit snugly on the baby’s ears while the padded cups add comfort. Its manufacturer guarantees that it is made of high quality, durable plastic material. Its 5-year warranty surely tells something about it!
HearTek Kids Earmuffs is another option those looking for the best headphones for autism. With a noise reduction rating of 27 dB, these earmuffs can effectively block out loud noises around the house, such as that from television, audio, children, cars, etc. Earmuffs should protect your kid from getting startled by sudden noises.
HearTek earmuffs have mostly positive reviews. Many users say that it indeed delivers exactly as described by its manufacturers. It comes with two-pointed mounted cups that evenly distribute pressure around the head. The ear cups are adequately padded to ensure maximum comfort as well as better noise cancellation. Plus, it is made of highly durable and water-resistant vinyl material, which makes it easier to clean. Each purchase comes with a travel bag for easy packing and storage.
Any sudden noise can cause stress and trigger tantrums in children with developmental disabilities. As such, getting these kids wear reliable autism headphones could be very helpful. The 3M Peltor X-Series Earmuffs is an over-the-head earmuff with a generic, one-size-fits-most design. While many adults use it for hearing protection, it can fit well in kids too.
3M Peltor X-Series earmuffs has a Noise Reduction Rating of 22 dB and provides protection from low to moderate noise. The twin headband design prevents heat buildup as well as even distribution of pressure. It is made of durable yet lightweight materials that ensure comfort. The ear cups can be tilted and adjusted to ensure user a secure fit. As from guaranteeing comfort, the soft and wide cushion provides maximum seal. These features allow the earmuffs to be worn even for prolonged periods.
Children with autism have more sensitive hearing and require hearing protection. The Baby Banz earBanz Kids Earmuffs can protect your kids from loud noise. These earmuffs effectively minimize loud noises (with a Noise Reduction Ratio of 21 dB) without completely blocking out ambient sound. This is of particular importance to kids since they still need auditory stimuli for their sense of hearing to fully develop.
These headphones for autism are made of durable plastic material. They have a very straightforward design that makes it easy to wear. Further, it does not have unnecessary protruding parts that can cause problems later. For maximum comfort, the earmuffs come with wide, foam-filled cushions while the headband is covered with comfortable leather-like sheath. Add to that, the materials are very lightweight, at only around 150 grams. You can easily fold the cups allowing you to bring them wherever you go. Perhaps, one common concern with these earmuffs is that they come only in one color (pink).
Children with autism occasionally need a little noise muffling, such as when getting them to sleep or concentrate on task. The Professional Safety Earmuffs by Decibel Defense offers a powerful noise protection. With an NRR of 37 dB, it is considered one of the highest rated ear protection devices in the market. No wonder, it is used in a wide range of purposes particularly when there is exposure to excessive noise such as in shooting and industrial uses.
Unlike other kids’ earmuffs, Decibel Defense’s best headphones for autism guarantee optimum noise protection. It can be very useful for children with autism and are extra sensitive hearing. These earmuffs have a straightforward, no-frills design. Its wide comfortable headband prevents evens out the pressure. It also makes wearing it easier. Decibel Defense has used high quality plastic materials that can withstand normal wear. Considering all its great features, its commendable user reviews and rating come not a surprise.
It’s not uncommon for occupational therapists to recommend headphones for kids with autism. Headphones help them handle loud noises without completely blocking normal sounds in the environment. Vic Firth Kidphones is among the most preferred brands for kids. With a noise reduction level of 22 dB, it can effectively protect the hearing of young kids.
Vic Firth Kidphones are sized precisely for children. They are made of high quality, durable plastic material with premium cushioning pads for superior comfort. Initially, kids may find the headphones quite irritating but as soon as your kid gets accustomed to it, wearing it should not feel like a burden. Its lightweight construction makes it almost unnoticeable. With the Vic Firth Kidphones you can rest well knowing that your kids are not at risk for overexposure to damaging sound levels. No wonder why they are highly recommended!
If you are looking for earmuffs that would suite any age, then the Earmuffs Protection for Kids and Adults are what you’re looking for. These earmuffs attenuate noise in the environment thereby protecting your baby’s sensitive ears. They are best worn in events where loud noise can be expected such as when watching fireworks displays, concerts, music jams, in the airport, construction site, industrial worksites, etc.
The colors (black and white) of these earmuffs are neutral and appealing to kids. They will love wearing them since they look nice on them. As per its manufacturer, these noise-cancelling headphones are made of premium quality materials that could stand normal use. Some reviews say that the padding and cushioning are indeed very comfortable to the ears. The padding is actually dual purpose – for noise cancellation and comfort. Plus, the design ensures proper fit!
Protect your child’s hearing and prevent them from suffering lifelong sensory disabilities. For parents who have kids afflicted with autism, noise-cancellation gears are a must! Get them a pair of earmuffs and protect them against exposure to loud sounds.