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Loud Noise /Fire Drill Sensitivity

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Joined: Jul 25, 2006
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Posted Aug 21, 2006 at 9:20:57 PM
Subject: Loud Noise /Fire Drill Sensitivity

I need some advice or would like to know what others have done. My son will be in the 3rd grade this year. He was diagnosed in march with having a Language based learning disability, along with ADHD. I'm reading Rick Lavoie's book, and see that sensitivity to loud noises is rather common with the learning disability. My son becomes pretty much incompacitated, smashes his hands over his ears very tightly, and obsess about it for at least 2 days. He's overly concerned about it. He doesn't talk about it, but if I go to school with him for a cub scout meeting, I can see him tense up as soon as he walks into the hall, and he'll start to put his hands over his ears. I can't imagine dealing with this fear on a daily basis. But he does. For the last half of 1st grade and the first part of 2nd they were taking him out of the building before it went off, which seemed to lessen the anxiety a great deal. Then the last part of last year they decided he needed to experience it with everyone else because it was a safety issue. I feel like it's a mental torture issue honestly. I am sure they would be sure to get him out if there was a fire. His new counselor is a counselor at a local private school for kids with learning disability, and he said there are a dozen or so kids at that school that are removed from the building before the fire drill everytime they have one because it's just way too much for their system to handle. His IEP meeting for the new school year is Friday. Is there a professional way to present this to the administration that makes sense to get him out of the building before it goes off? Should I suggest signing something. It just seems like the best choice. Thanks for any help!


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Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Aug 22, 2006 11:25:31 PM

You can request a sensory integration evaluation which would help show that the fire drills are too stimulating for him, causing more anxiety. You can also request a letter from his counselor suggesting that removing him before the fire drill is important to his mental health and his ability to stay in school.

My dd was very sensitive to loud noises and fire drills used to terrify her. We had it written into her IEP that she always gets a warning the day of a fire drill so that she can be prepared for it. Usually she has an aide that will cue her just before it goes off, kind of like a 5 minute warning. This has really helped with the anxiety caused by the fire drills. The other thing we did to help her was an auditory integration program which helped reduce her sensitivity to loud noise.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Joined Aug 26, 2006
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Posted:Aug 26, 2006 9:22:49 PM

Hi! I hope your meeting went well yesterday. I don't have suggestions on how to deal with the school people, but I've been reading a book "The Healing Power of Neurofeedback" and just last night I read about someone who was highly sensitive to loud noises. Aurora, 11 yo girl, was diagnosed with an Asperger's Syndrome and would have 'almost seizurelike intensity to the sounds of slamming doors, noon whistles, loud motors, etc.' Her story of healing is on pages 146-150. With about a year of treatment she was able to go to a very noisy train yard museum with her Dad. She got treatment using a type of biofeedback that's just starting to be used in the neuropsychology world to help people deal with all sorts of neurological things...including head injuries/stroke. If you want to find someone who uses the LENS neurofeedback technique you can go to ochslabs.com. I'm just starting to check this out for myself because I have a minor head injury so I don't have personal knowledge of its effectiveness. It's not something the medical world has warmed up to yet but if your insurance covers biofeedback than the costs should be covered.

I found the LDOnline web-site from a link on the 'learninghyperlinks.com' web-site. Those people are geared towards helping children who are struggling with learning. The information on their site if very interesting, especially http://learninghyperlinks.com/whoneeds.htm which highlights what different symptoms reflect what kind of neurological 'hangup' i.e. people who get car sick or can't hit/catch a ball may be struggling because their eyes may not be working together. According to the charts she lays out it's very likely I deal with that because It's hard for me to form pictures in my mind as I read. It seems to be a very affordable way to address learning struggles.

I hope some of this helps although it's not the kind of help you were looking for.

Warmly, Wendy
[Modified by: trading4joy (trading4joy) on August 26, 2006 08:24 PM]

"If you suffer by comparrison an instant cure is to stop comparring."

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