Those with kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)...the NOISES...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TheBoyHasArrived, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. TheBoyHasArrived

    TheBoyHasArrived New Member

    Has anyone with a child with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who has limited language found a way to minimize/stop the noises? This kid is driving me absolutely insane. He makes a motor-like noise almost all of the time now (it's like a lateral lisp/motor/siren noise accompanied by "flying" whatever object is laying around), which is a huge increase in the past 2 months or so. I know weaning him off risperdal had something to do with it, but it's seriously driving me bonkers. Not to mention it's completely non-functional and he uses it to pretend like he can't hear us (for example, he will make the noise loudly enough that you would think he couldn't hear/focus on a directive, but if I count to 3, he will immediately stop and follow the direction--sometimes laughing.) I think he used the noises to occupy himself (extremely neglected/institutionalized prior to adoption) in the past, but they have increased significantly recently.

    I've tried re-directing (does not work at all), I've tried giving him words to replace it ("vroom, says vroom" "go, car, go..."), and I've tried allowing him to do it in a separate area of the house ("you can make that noise in your room"). We've tried increasing sensory activities, compression/weights, etc. If I tell him to make the noise in his room, he will typically protest and stop the noise for a minute or so and then start again. I know some people aren't bothered by the vocal stims and would say let him go, but it's really inhibiting his language development (speaking English for 6 months) and relationships (partly because it's making *me* crazy). Has anyone found anything that worked?
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    In difficult child 1's case, the noises he makes get worse when he is nervous. He doesn't even realize he's doing it and calling his attention makes it stop....temporarily. It is a coping mechanism for the most part and sometimes it's because noises around him, even my voice at times, are "irritating" him (sensory issue).

    Good luck stopping it. I hear you when you say it's driving you bonkers. And yes, certain medications help with the impulsivity to do it also. sorry I can't give you any suggestions except to maybe try to figure out the why behind it.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    There are many times there is no way my son can stop and having him hold it in makes it come out later and longer. In more public places, like school if there are other kids around, we do use something that is not as compatable with making noise like chewing a LOT of gum.....large bubble gum, a few pieces at a time.

    If it has increased then I imagine it is connected to something more neurological (you said that it increased since going off the medication) and it may be a long process to figure out the triggers. Assuming it is to ignore or escape may be true or not, only way to know is to really keep good data about what is happening before during and after each noise "episode". Just because it happens that he does get out of something or he does it at times you want his attention does not mean that is why he does it. It may just be a stimulant and it happens to work in those functions when they occur at the same time. That is often what happens when kids do things for "attention". In places like schools, kids get attention for nearly all behaviors, so there is not a chance they can do a behavior and NOT get attention unless it is very planned (which, if suddenly a kid doesn't get attention they know something is different which in and of itself GIVES it attention, uggg it gets complicated). So, people assume that the child is doing it for attention when in reality they are doing it because they are doing it....then as a secondary they get attention which may work to continue the behavior or increase it but many times is not the reason it STARTED. Getting to why it started is the ticket usually.

    If this is more of a stimulant then you do need to figure out what is going on internally. It may take a combination of the right medications if you are changing them, sensory integration techniques done in a sensory diet way...very strict ongoing preventative/proactive swinging or squishing or whatever the Occupational Therapist (OT) prescribes on a frequent timed basis...NOT just when he has already started the sounds.

    Does he use any nonverbal communication strategies? If after your recording things, you find it is related to any kind of lack of communication skill you may find that using some kind of visual communication strategy will help him to express and for you to get him to understand (when you use it).

    Listen around you when he is making noises. My son tends to make more of his perseverative statements when there is background noise going on. I have found that if I turn everything off, radios, tv, dishwasher, etc...he quiets. One Occupational Therapist (OT) told me when he was very young that kids sometimes need to hear their own voices above all the background noise or other people's voices because it is comforting to them. If that is true, ear plugs or head phones that lower sound may help him. It will also make it so he can hear his own voice (you know how when you plug your own ears you hear your own voice louder? People who have that kind of hearing loss ....where the middle ear or outer ear is plugged or sound is blocked that way tend to talk softer because their voices sound loud..........people with sensory loss/"nerve" deafness tend to have louder voices because they need to talk loud enough to hear themselves or any sound). It could reduce the volume. Of course there are some sensory seeking kids who will just get louder no matter what because they crave it.

    I know, not much help, just throwing ideas out there. I know it can be wearing but I have learned to just accept some of it because on the spectrum of behaviors, that is LOW for me.

    Oh, I was thinking about your saying that it is inhibiting his language development. Do you speak his first language? Does he use a first language appropriately? I'd be inclined to say the opposite (but it is just a guess) ...that because he has difficulties with language--and more likely because of the overall Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) which is highly connected with communication disorder--he is doing this behavior. OR, just that they are both happening...communication/language issues AND the stimulant behavior. I wouldn't hang my hat on getting rid of the stimulant behaviors/noises being the ticket to his language improving though when language/communication improves you might notice less of the noise making (or, sigh, what happened in my son's case...just uses WORDS for the noises/blurts etc instead of as many random noises....). I hope that makes sense, it is a subtle difference, so if it is not clear maybe someone else can help me explain.
  4. TheBoyHasArrived

    TheBoyHasArrived New Member

    Thank you for the replies, sorry to post and run, we've been out of town. :) I really need to add a signature, because I am really bad at adding necessary background information. We really think that K's noises are institutional/learned behaviors--obviously, we can't be 100% sure, but that's my gut feeling. (I think it could definitely be an attention/control thing.) Since there's a pretty limited amount of information on that, I thought maybe there was something that had worked for someone else to limited/control/eliminate the crazy-making noises. We have an Occupational Therapist (OT)/sensory evaluation coming up, and I'm definitely up for trying anything she can give us. We've noticed he's about 75% better when he has more stimulation (we're visiting family with children age this weekend, and he's barely making noise). I told husband that our solution is to adopt a few more kids to keep him entertained. Unfortunately, husband or I engaging him is not enough to quiet the noises. I'm going to try ear plugs the next time I "need" him to be quiet to see if that helps, I hadn't thought about that but the noises got much louder after he had PE tubes placed.

    As far as language development--he had almost no language in his first language, but he is picking up English pretty fast, all things considered. I know we've missed the "window," but I just mean that he is using the noises/stims to escape from engaging and communicating. I think the noises probably originated from not having the opportunity for communication, but he's holding onto them, which is making it more difficult for people to engage him. I don't think eliminating the noises will fix his communication disorder, but I think if we can eliminate it, it will give him one less "escape."

    I hadn't made the connection between the increase in noises and the tubes, so THANK YOU for mentioning that--the drastic increase was really driving me insane, so any type of explanation is so helpful.