Navigating our Loud World

Living in Minnesota, we always relish the summertime.

Being able soak up the sunshine and spend long days outside is amazing after being cooped up inside all winter, and with summer comes loads of fun activities: spending time at playgrounds/parks, sporting events, blockbuster movies, birthday parties, big family gatherings, trips to crowded tourist destinations, the list goes on and on.

However, with these types of environments comes a challenge for many of those on the autism spectrum: the noise.

All of these environments can get really loud.

While not always loud enough to cause too much discomfort for most neurotypical people, the noise levels in these environments can cause extreme pain and overstimulation for kiddos on the spectrum that are sensitive to sound.

Many of us who have children that are sensitive to loud noise try to minimize the amount of time that they spend in loud environments, but there are many loud environments that are simply unavoidable.

At the same time, we want to make sure our kids aren’t missing out on important and fun activities and experiences. It can be a tough balancing act.

For years, big earmuffs have been the typical solution to help ease the stress that loud environments cause our sound-sensitive kiddos, but they are far from perfect.

For one, earmuffs are designed to fully block out loud noises, so while they may keep our kids’ ears comfortable, they prevent them from being able to hear anything at all, which, aside from making it difficult for them to interact with others, can also be a safety hazard.

Not to mention, especially as kids who are sensitive to sound get older, the bright, bulky appearance of earmuffs can make those who wear them stand out in an undesirable way and draw unwanted attention to the fact that they’re using hearing protection.

After resigning myself to the fact that loud environments were yet another difficulty that was just a part of life for kids on the spectrum, we were so happy to discover Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs.

Instead of blocking and muffling sound like earmuffs do, Vibes are a hearing protection device that are actually designed for sound quality: they reduce the volume of loud environments to a more comfortable level, while still allowing you to hear everything in your environment clearly.

Wearing Vibes in your ears is just like turning the volume knob down on the world!

Even though Vibes were actually originally made for people that go to concerts and musicians, Vibes are becoming increasingly popular among families that have children who are sensitive to loud sounds, since they allow them to stay comfortable in environments that would otherwise be painfully loud, without preventing them from being able to hear what’s going on around them and communicate with others.

Vibes are also much more low-profile than your standard earmuffs, making it easy for kids (and adults) to be discreet about wearing hearing protection in public.

While it may not seem like something as simple as earplugs could make a big impact on someone’s life, there are so many families whose lives have been drastically improved by these earplugs.

Below, you can see a video that tells the story of a child on the autism spectrum, Noah, who has always been very sensitive to loud noise, and often had to leave environments that got too loud.

After Noah’s dad got him a pair of Vibes, he was able to sit still and be comfortable through an entire play (something that would have been impossible beforehand, according to his Dad).

He’s also now able to go play video games at his local arcade, even when it’s filled with tons of other kids, and their family has even been able to go on a cruise, which is something they’d wanted to do for years, but had never been able to due to Noah’s sensitivity to noise.

We’ve heard stories of other families whose sound-sensitive children, with the help of Vibes, can be comfortable enough to attend church services, participate in school assemblies, go through airport security and take flights, attend their friends’ birthday parties, go to school dances, and more, all without standing out as different from the crowd and while being able to fully hear everything happening around them.

If there’s anyone in your life that could use the ability to reduce the volume of loud environments, you can use the promo code VOICE to get 15% off + free shipping when you order Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs from www.discovervibes.com.

You can also purchase cords that clip onto the ends of the earplugs, which allow them to be hung around the neck, on Amazon.

Click here to learn more about Vibes.

Vibes is an official Business Supporter of the Autism Society of America, and each pair of earplugs includes a donation to Hear the World Foundation, which provides hearing healthcare and hearing aids to children in need.

 

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