The importance of ASD
Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD is a condition that affects 1% of the total population. Processing of information is slightly different in people with ASD than in people without ASD, and hypersensitivity towards sound is one of the most common effects witnessed in people with ASD. Sensory Processing Disorder is another condition seen in people with ASD where information processing in people with ASD takes place differently from what it is in people without ASD, affecting how they perceive their surroundings and react to it. People with ASD find it difficult to adjust to an environment designed for neurotypical people, which leads to stress. One of the significant sources of stress in people with ASD is noise.
Link between ASD and Noise
Hypersensitivity to sound is common among people with ASD, where they become sense even the slightest sound in the environment. For people with ASD, sounds may seem magnified, distorted and painful and cannot ignore the slightest sound in the environment, finding it challenging to concentrate. Moreover, people with ASD find it difficult to cope with noise levels a person without ASD is accustomed to.
Due to the hypersensitivity to sound, people with ASD find it difficult to relax and sleep as they are constantly awakened by the slightest sounds, eventually leading to sleep disorders. Social interaction, already a herculean task for people with ASD, becomes even more difficult as they may not make distinctions between the conversations and the noise in the background. They may also be forced to opt out of social events like parties and celebrations or even traffic-all places with high noise levels, making them socially awkward. Such situations mandate a helping hand, and autism friendly headphones might be the way out.
How Autism friendly headphones help
A standard strategy adopted by people with ASD is to cover their ears to block out the interfering sound. Autism friendly headphones, which are noise-cancelling, detect incoming sound and emit signals with an opposite phase cancelling out the external noise. With the lack of background noise, music can be played at lower volumes. Users have also found that using them allows them to sleep amid noise, like in an aeroplane surrounded by the engine's noise and conversations between the passengers. This noise-cancelling feature has made Autism friendly headphones a hit among people with ASD.
Precautions while buying Autism friendly headphones
Users have to look at the noise canceling headphones for autism before purchasing them. Autism friendly headphones can cancel sounds of low frequency, but they may be less effective in cancelling high-frequency sounds. This is important because frequently encountered noises have a high pitch, and children are more sensitive than adults to sounds of high frequency. Therefore, a headphone that can ensure full-spectrum noise reduction is ideal. Users must always ensure that they have the backup- another headphone or spare batteries-as the headphones are vital.