My 12 year old has told me sometimes when people are talking, it sounds very very fast, sped-up and hurts to listen too. She will go to her room and "wait it out" until people sound normal again. She also stutters, and is a finger picker. She is very socialable (normal), great in school and everything else seem normal.
Is this something to worry about that I should pursue?
Well, first off, she should have her ears examined by an ENT ear-nose-throat doc. It's very likely she has a hearing problem. She may not be hearing certain frequencies, so she needs a bona fide hearing test done, where they put headphones on her and she listens to a range of ringing sounds.
The other possibility I am not sure of, because apparently this just started and was not a feature in her childhood, but autism or one of its milder forms, they all have different names, could be what's going on. See, one theory of autism is, it comes from sensory overload. Everything around them kind of echoes on top of each other because their information processing center is deficient for some reason. So, the child withdraws within theirselves and focuses on "array" type things, like reflective objects, repetitive movements, where the broken flow doesn't matter and in fact is comforting.
So, go to the ENT doc and also have a hearing test done first. She may just need a hearing aide or therapy in how to cope with frequency hearing loss. If she's okay, then you can go to a psychiatrist or specialist who does nothing but treat autistic disorders, and have him decide which one she has and how to go about training her to focus, even tho the world is swirling around her.
They recently had a young lady on "America's Next Top Model" who had a form of autism, and she made it to the final five, lovely person, kind of quiet, and she had learned over the years how to concentrate well enough to enjoy an exceptional young adult's life.
Please get an ENT exam done to rule out hearing problems. It will also help us to know if this thing has started recently. F it is a recent occurrence there is a possibility that the child is under some kind of stress or anxiety. I would suggest you to try and talk to her about it.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.