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Noise Hypersensitivity
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Noise Hypersensitivity

My 5 1/2 year old is hypersensitive to noise that he is not in control of. If he is watching tv or listening to his music then he doesn't seem to mind if the volume is loud. However, if he walks into a room or building with loud music or noise (skating rink, movie theater, normal church hymns, general crowds, school assemblies, etc) he covers his ears and sometimes becomes almost fearful. He always asks beforehand if something is going to be loud and if it is he doesn't want to participate. As a baby and toddler he never did well in noisy situations and would scream and cry and become almost uncontrollable in any loud environment almost as if his brain just could not process it. He is completely normal and healthy mentally and physically except for mild problems dealing with frustration, and becoming overexcited/overstimulated in what would otherwise be appropriate stimulation.  How concerned should I be about this? Is this a problem that I should have evaluated and if so, by what kind of health care specialist?
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242606_tn?1243786248
Dear Laura,

This characteristic can be symtomatic of Sensory Integration Disorder. It may not pose as much of a problem as he develops - there's no way to tell. If you want to pursue it now (I'd discuss it with his pediatrician and teacher), two evaluations that would be pertinent are an audiological examination and an evaluation by an occupational therapist (the discipline that diagnoses and treats SI problems).
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