Thank you Vibes for sponsoring this post and helping people with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism
Concerts, crowds, and loud noises
A common issue faced by people with autism and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) is a low tolerance to noise. In our family, we all experience it to a certain extent. For instance, I avoid crowds, concerts, and other loud areas because the noise easily overwhelms me. It makes going out challenging, and I often deprive myself of doing fun activities because of it. When I was younger, I remember myself always making up excuses to not go to a concert and things of that nature. The thing is, I did really want to go, but I knew the loud noise would prevent me from enjoying it even though I loved the artist. I tried traditional foam earplugs but they blocked the noise completely, not fun either at a concert…
Charlie’s sensory issues
Charlie is severely autistic, and he often covers his ears when he’s overwhelmed. Sometimes the reason for his discomfort is obvious, like a loud car outside or a crowded grocery store. Sometimes, though, Charlie starts screaming and covering his ears when there’s no obvious loud noise around. I think many of us have days when we’re more sensitive to sound and get overwhelmed more easily. Jude is like Charlie and I, loud settings bother him. To help us better deal with unpleasant noise, we use a really useful product called Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs.
In the past, we tried to help Charlie by teaching him to wear those big sound-suppressing earmuffs. It wasn’t successful. We even made one of his therapy targets to keep the earmuffs on for more than 3 seconds. After a few months he still wasn’t comfortable with them so we abandoned it and searched for a different solution. I don’t blame him, the pressure on the sides of your head can be pretty intense when you have a big pair of earmuffs on your head. Not to mention, along with the foam earplugs (the other popular solution), they inhibit your ability to hear clearly and interact. Foam earplugs and giant earmuffs might be good for absolute maximum sound reduction but they leave you unable to interact with them on, and ruin the quality of any voice or music heard through them.
Learn more about Vibes earplugs for Autism and SPD here —>
Vibes are high-fidelity earplugs that don’t sound like you’re listening through two pillows stuffed to each ear. They lower the ambient volume to a more comfortable level while still retaining much of the auditory clarity of what you’re hearing. Standard foam earplugs reduce sound by about 30 decibels (and most of that is the damage-causing treble), whereas Vibes earplugs reduce the sound more evenly across the entire tonal range by about 15 decibels. All Vibes earplugs come with 3 sizes of soft, interchangeable ear tips included to ensure the perfect fit.
With Vibes, people with ASD and sensory disorders can comfortably experience environments that would otherwise be painfully loud, while still being able to hear clearly. But anybody can use them, because the solution they offer works for anyone. When I put them on, I can clearly hear people talking to me but it takes the edge off and calms the general soundscape. I’m confident I would comfortably be able to attend a concert with them on. Check out this fun little stop-motion video we made that shows Vibes earplugs better, and like always, let me know what you think.