Normal noise often painful to autistic kids, study finds

I don’t think that any parent of an autistic child (or autistic kids/adults themselves) will be surprised by the findings of this study: Noise, even ‘normal’ noise, bothers a lot of autistic kids. What I found most interesting about the study results, at least as reported in this story in the NZ Herald, is the grouping of autistic and gifted children together in the study’s findings.

The so-what of the findings is expressed very well by Stuart McLaren of Massey University in the wrap up to the story:

Providing quiet spaces is one way to help autistic and gifted children, and researchers will investigate other strategies.

‘Much of the present work is focused on these children being integrated into regular early childhood education environments.

‘However, we must look more closely at the learning environment too,’ says Mr McLaren.

Why is it acceptable to expect autistic children to negotiate their way around any such environment when we never expect children with physical disabilities to negotiate their way up a flight of steps?

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