Why Do Autistic People Wear Headphones?

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ASD, often known as Autism, was once a disorder that was little comprehended, but these days we “see” it more often and are better informed about it.

Everyone with autism is unique from everyone else. Because of this, autism is referred to as a spectrum, different people belong to different levels of the spectrum.

In this article, we will delve into greater detail on autism in order to give you a better general understanding of the subject.

However, the main topic is Why autistic people wear headphones.


What Is Autism?

Let us begin with the first step, so you are familiar with the term Autism.

Autism is a disorder that has an impact on a person’s thinking, feeling, social interactions, and perception of their surroundings. It is a chronic impairment that a person has from the time of their birth and continues into old age.

You might be surprised to learn that there are more people with autism than you might expect, but different people will experience it in various ways.

Adults with autism spectrum disorder are capable of living on their own. But not everyone reaches the same level of independence, some of them have it harder and some have it easier.

Did You Know?
Most experts estimate that up to 1% of the population is affected by autism spectrum disorders, while the actual number may end up being considerably higher as diagnostic techniques advance. In other words, roughly 1 in 44 children have autism spectrum disorder.

So returning to the subject, people with autism may experience overstimulation from sights, sounds, scents, and touch. They could feel overwhelmed and stressed as a result of this.

The first thing that comes to your mind is, do they benefit from headphones?

Can Headphones Treat Autism?

Before addressing the reason why, it’s important to consider if headphones genuinely help with autism.

For obvious reasons, it won’t treat because there is no known cure for it and it is a lifelong condition.

But can it make a difference here? Well, that’s something else.

Headphones can be a useful tool for autistic persons to adapt to their environment or maintain focus because noisy environments and noise can have a significant negative impact on them.

This is especially true with noise cancelling headphones, which assist autistic persons to avoid overstimulation.

Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that there is a link between autism and headphones. With autist people wearing noise canceling headphones, the noise reduction will have a positive impact on them that might result in calmness.


Why do Autistic People Wear Headphones?

Some persons with autism are hypersensitive to sound, which can make it difficult for them to communicate, later leading to even more complications, like a sensory processing disorder.

At this point, headphones become useful.

Please understand that I’m referring to noise-canceling headphones because those are the ones that will work best in that kind of situation. Headphones that are unable to block out background noise will just make the matter worse.

Yes, a person with Autism can eliminate much of the background noise and reduce what remains by wearing headphones or earbuds that either passively or actively isolate the background noise.

By shutting out undesirable noises, an autistic person can focus on other everyday activities such as relaxing, listening to music, doing errands, playing games, and so on.

In other words, it will make their lives easier.

The comfort of the headphones is another factor that significantly assists with this particular situation.

We are well aware that persons with autism often have problems falling asleep.  There are several reasons for this, including difficulty relaxing or winding down and continuously changing melatonin levels.

Therefore, a comfortable set of headphones will make it simpler for them to unwind and fall asleep.

How Noise Affects Autistic People

According to studies, loud noises can have a very negative effect on autistic persons. People with autism are extremely sensitive to certain sounds and frequencies that do not bother other children.

The consequence of sound sensitivity is that it might cause pain that can even result in a panic attack.

Some of them just can’t distinguish between sounds, and even the smallest noises—like a fan or a clock—can irritate them intensely.

Hence why a pair of noise canceling headphones becomes a really useful tool to accommodate them.

Active and Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones

Since we are talking about noise-canceling headphones, it will be worth to touchdown something important.

As we know headphones that block the outside noise are usually the closed-back types and they either do it in a passive way or an active way and even both ways.

Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones

Simply put, passive noise canceling refers to headphones that block the ambient noise in a passive way, they do it by having a closed-back design that completely engulfs your ears and the background noise becomes hard to hear.

While passive noise-canceling headphones are better than nothing, they still fall short of their counterparts.

Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

With modern technology, the term noise-canceling takes a completely new meaning. Active Noise Cancelling also known as ANC is the superior method that completely shuts off the ambient noises and it does so via technology.

Not only the headphones with ANC are wireless, but they have extra microphones on them that pick up the background noise and isolate or say eliminate it.

Such an advancement indeed.

Imagine having a pair of headphones that does noise isolation in both a passive and active manner, for sure, this is a dream for autistic people.


Final Words

Many children with autism face tough challenges, which frequently involve sensory issues.

Finding them a set of headphones that effectively blocks out background noise while keeping them comfortable for extended periods of time can be a great place to start.

A parent’s greatest joy, especially for those with an autistic child, is discovering a solution that makes life easier for their children. So yes, a decent pair of headphones will bring a smile to your child’s face as much as your own.

However, kindly check the volume settings from time to time. It is crucial that they not play music or anything else loudly because this can significantly damage their ears and lead to ear problems and even hearing loss.

This concludes everything. I hope I was clear and succeeded in giving you some valuable insight into autism and the reasons why autistic people wear headphones.

Further Reading

Let’s change the topic completely, and let’s talk about soundbars, such as the best soundbars for audiophiles, or speaker, such as the best bicycle bluetooth speakers, or headphones, such as the best headphones for hip hop and rap music. 

Melissa Peterkin
Latest posts by Melissa Peterkin (see all)

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