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My Child is Touching Their Ears Autism

Have you seen your child touching their ears often? Autism and sensory sensitivities can be related, and understanding these behaviors helps you support your neurodivergent kid better. In this blog post, we’ll explain the connection between touching ears and autism, explore why it happens, and share helpful tips to assist your child with sensory challenges. Let’s get started!

Touching Ears Autism: Unraveling the Mystery

Kids with autism may experience the world differently than other kids. They can be more sensitive to things like sounds, lights, or textures. Touching their ears can be a way for them to feel better when they’re overwhelmed by these sensations. It’s a way for them to cope with too much sensory input.

Here are some common sensory triggers that kids with autism might find overwhelming:

  • Noisy places
  • Bright lights
  • Strong smells
  • Scratchy clothes or fabrics
  • Being touched without warning

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Helping Your Child Handle Sensory Sensitivities

As a parent, it’s important to understand and respect your child’s sensory needs. You can help your child deal with sensory sensitivities and reduce their need for touching their ears by following these tips:

Make a Sensory-Friendly Home

Try to reduce sensory triggers in your home by keeping noise levels low, using soft lighting, and picking comfy clothes and bedding. You can also create a quiet space where your child can go when they feel overwhelmed.

Touching ears autism: A young woman touches her ears while she closes her eyes.

Here are some ideas to make your home more sensory-friendly:

  • Use curtains or blinds to control natural light
  • Choose furniture with soft and comfortable materials
  • Eliminate strong-smelling cleaning products
  • Place rugs or carpets to dampen noise

Offer Sensory Tools

Give your child sensory tools like noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys, or weighted blankets. These can help them manage sensory input better.

Some popular sensory tools include:

  • Chewelry (chewable jewelry)
  • Sensory brushes
  • Balance boards
  • Body socks

Create a Sensory Diet

A sensory diet is a plan with specific sensory activities that help your child stay calm throughout the day. Work with an occupational therapist to make a sensory diet that fits your child’s needs.

Touching ears autism: two little girls sit on a small trampoline.
Read more: What is a Sensory Diet?

Examples of sensory diet activities:

  • Swinging
  • Jumping on a trampoline
  • Playing with playdough
  • Listening to calming music

Teach Ways to Cope

Show your child ways to deal with sensory overload, like taking deep breaths, relaxing their muscles, or imagining a peaceful place.

Some coping strategies to teach your child:

  • Counting to ten
  • Squeezing a stress ball
  • Practicing mindfulness or meditation
  • Using positive self-talk

Talk to Your Child’s School

Make sure your child’s teachers and school staff know about their sensory sensitivities. Work together to make the school environment better for your child.

Consider discussing these accommodations with the school:

  • Extra time for transitions
  • Seating away from noisy areas
  • Visual schedules
  • Breaks during the day

When to Ask for Professional Help

It’s normal for kids with autism to have sensory sensitivities, but it’s important to watch how these challenges affect their daily life. If your child’s sensory issues are causing a lot of stress or making it hard for them to do everyday activities, it might be time to ask for help from an occupational therapist or another specialist.

Signs that your child may need professional help:

  • Difficulty participating in social activities
  • Increased anxiety or meltdowns
  • Struggling with schoolwork
  • Disrupted sleep patterns

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Supporting Your Child’s Unique Sensory Needs

Touching ears autism-related behavior is just one way that neurodivergent kids cope with their sensory world. By understanding and helping your child with their sensory needs, you can make their life more comfortable and enjoyable. Remember, every child is different, and what works for one might not work for another. Be patient, keep learning, and celebrate your child’s uniqueness!

This post was originally published on 05/02/2023. It was updated on 06/28/2023.

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