Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The hilarity of being loud when he's autistic

David by the fence

Some people are aware that individuals with autism can be sensitive to loud noises so might be confused by our son Anthony. Although better at school, in most environments Anthony himself is extremely loud. He seems to operate at maximum volume all the time, and whilst this might be a bit annoying, it also makes it difficult to tell when Anthony is distressed or needs help because when he shouts for it, he's not actually any louder than normal.

Some people are just loud talkers. Bigger lungs, cultural and family circumstances are just a few reasons why some people speak loudly. And that's no different to children with autism. However, Anthony was and is constantly encouraged to express himself using language and maybe this effort comes out as quite a 'forced' sound. Often when he is reading, words he knows well come out more quietly than those he has to concentrate on.

It's also common for children with autism not to understand social situations or the perspective of others. Anthony simply doesn't realise that others find him loud or that being excessively loud in certain places, like a church or a library, isn't helpful. He also finds it difficult to concentrate on lots of things at once. If he's coping with the new environment and all the questions he has about the visit to the library then I have almost no chance in helping him to remember to lower his voice. Needless to say, we don't visit libraries often.

Mostly, we accept being loud as part of being Anthony. Sometimes we try and help him lower his voice for particular events so it's a better experience for him. The biggest difficulty though is being able to determine when he actually is using a loud voice for a purpose and needs my help, because it just sounds loud like it always does.

Yesterday evening, Anthony and his little brother were playing chase (sort of, as two ASD brothers might) and it spilled into the garden. I can see most of the garden from the kitchen so continued to empty the dishwasher etc. I could hear Anthony and his loud voice saying 'no no' as David got close and he didn't want to be caught and giggles coming from David. I heard the same thing again a few times, and then a slight pitch change. Anthony was probably getting excited. I looked over into the garden to see David, half way over the garden wall and Anthony holding onto his legs. Anthony was still shouting 'no no' and David was still giggling.

I ran over and rescued the situation. Whilst trying not to laugh at what was really quite a humorous sight, I managed to communicate to David that he should not climb over the wall. I reminded Anthony to use the word 'Help' and not just yell loudly when he needed to.   Then I thanked my instincts for noticing a pitch change in his voice when he was beginning to panic. Truth is most situations like this are approached with a sense of humour, it was quite a picture.

Then I had the best part of my day playing chase with them in the garden until it turned into rough play on the trampoline.

19 comments:

  1. I'm impressed you didn't laugh, I can picture it now and it does sound funny. It must be hard trying to distinguish between normal loud and equally 'I need you help' loud. #coolmumclub

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  2. I thought of you this week as I attended a workshop in understanding ASD. This post ticked so many boxes of what I learnt... I think every single person should attend an understanding autism workshop, but your blog is definitely the next best thing :-)

    Thank for linking to #coolmumclub

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  3. It must be really difficult to tell when there's a 'help needed' sort of cry rather than an every day loudness. It's a good job your instincts are spot on! Thanks for sharing with #WotW

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  4. Thank goodness you notice bless him, my god daughter is exactly the same quite loud but hates noise x

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  5. I have two loud voices in my house and neither can help it. I think it gets louder when their voice breaks. Well done on noticing the change of pitch though and realising something was wrong.

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  6. Joseph is so loud. Likes everything on full blast and it drives me round the bend!! #SpectrumSunday

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  7. My son talks very loud but can't stand loud noises lol. Great that you trusted your instincts and I love how you had fun with your little boys too. :)

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  8. Our house was fairly noisy when the kids were small - much quieter now that they are teens. My son can't bear any distractions when he is watching TV and will pause the programme to wait until everyone else is completely quiet again. We'd make a pretty boring googlebox family!!! The irony is that he is the biggest fidget ever and only the more patient members of the family can tolerate sitting next to him when a programme is on!

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  9. Funny how motherly instinct kicks in just at the right time x

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  10. Aren't instincts a wonderful thing. Mother's intuition, I love it! Thanks for linking up to #TriumphantTales and please do come back again tomorrow :)

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  11. that was good you are so tuned into your sons and could identify the change of pitch for when help was needed, glad everyone is ok

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  12. Glad to hear the pitch change helped you realise when help was needed. I'm chuckling over the mental picture of David halfway over the wall with Anthony holding on to his legs. Love that you joined in the game of chase too :-) #WotW

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  13. Always trust your instincts! You did paint a funny picture with your words, I bet it was hard not to giggle despite everything that was going on! Glad everyone was ok

    #WoTW
    Sorry for the last commenting
    xx

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  14. Oh I love this post. My big lad can still be loud but has learned to be quieter, he used to be very loud as a child and I had a hand signal to ask him to be quieter we used to use a lot. I also taught it to his very grateful teacher. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

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  15. I love reading your posts each week and every time i see a rainbow i think of Anthony. I think us mums have a radar 6th sense built into us. Good on Anthony for trying to stop his brother get over the wall. #PostsFromTheHeart

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  16. My son is just the same and is completely non verbal so mostly when he is excited or enjoying himself he makes lots of noises that another child may make if distressed. All at full volume! #spectrumsunday

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  17. I would so have laughed! my little one is so loud full volume... usually in the supermarket!
    thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

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  18. My boys are so loud sometimes! xx
    Thanks for linking to #pocolo

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  19. Well done for not laughing, I bet it was quite a sight though. And often instincts are so fine tuned it's uncanny. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo and it's lovely to have you along.

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