Do children with autism listen differently?

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There has been a myth that autistic children lack in communication development and hearing capability. But this is not always true. Recent studies reveal in some cases children having autism do far better in hearing specific thinks than children without autism.

‘Do children with autism listen differently?’

In one word, the answer to this question is ‘yes’. But it does not mean that such children always perform worse in listening. Even, this can be considered as one of the remarkable differences between normal hearing loss and autism.

Yes, it true those autistic children face lots of difficulties interpreting the meaning of the world while making conversation with others or in a social gathering. Sometimes they can understand and interpret each of the pitch, rhythm, and sounds of conversion but with a notable amount of delayed. Due to such an inefficient response time, they find it hard to communicate in gathering or at the place where more than one people are chatting.

However, for specific tasks, and mainly in the case of auditory processing tests, such children perform much better than normal children. I shall give you some real-life example that surely helps you to understand better.

Buzzing of electricity in the wall. Being a normal individual can you imagine the hearing of noise due to the buzzing of electricity in the wall! Yes, although you can’t believe it, some children with autism reported such an incident. In actuality, this is the cause why autistic children show over-sensitivity to the rock music concert or a social gathering. Due to auditory information processing disorder, they can hear a few of the sounds within a noise with more clarity than you.

Continuity error identification. Autistic children are capable of performing better visual and auditory tasks. Oversensitivity to rhythms and pitches helps such children to identify minor to minor slipping of audios in a continuous video, while non-autistic children find the same video smooth.


Least distraction. As per the usual understanding, the auditory information processing capability of autistic children is a bit limited compared to normal children. But this sometimes proves advantageous. For example, in tasks that demand less information for concentration like one conversation, normal children get easily distracted by the surrounding conversation, views, and chatting. But lower functionality of auditory stimuli of the autistic limits their auditory processing capability to the specific conversation.

Identification of a specific sound from noise. In some auditory processing tests, it has been found that children with autism can easily identify some specific sound from a chaotic mixture of several sounds. In such cases, about 80% of normal children completely miss that sound. Even, in some cases, autistic children can better differentiate the roars of lions and tigers.

The reason behind such overwhelming and unbelievable performance is nothing but the higher perceptual capacity of autistic children. But yes, while such things become advantageous in some cases, proves disadvantageous in other cases. However auditory processing strengthening therapy can lower the degree of disadvantages.

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