Bringing Attention to Sensory Sensitivity

Autism Awareness Month blog post

In light of Autism Awareness Month this April, advocates, organizations, teachers, students, and parents are seeking and sharing knowledge about a disorder that affects one in 68 children.

Autism is understood by most as a purely social disorder. However, there are many other manifestations of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that can impact how a student behaves and learns in the classroom.

A common symptom of ASD is sensory sensitivity. Students with autism may experience over sensitivity or under sensitivity to sight, sound, taste, touch and balance. In the classroom, these sensitivities can arise in any number of situations and distract students with autism from learning.

To understand what sensory sensitivity feels like for those on the autism spectrum, watch this simulation.

With the increased use of technology in collaborative learning environments, students with autism are often more exposed to high sensory learning engagements, especially in the auditory realm.

For students who are under sensitive to sound, they may enjoy loud sounds or ignore certain sounds, which could lead students to listen to headphone volume at an unsafe level and damage their hearing.

Students who are over sensitive to sound can experience noise distortion and magnification. Background noise and conversation can be extremely distracting for student listening, from spoken instruction to digital materials.

The Califone Hush Buddy Hearing Protector are ear muffs that block out external noise and allows students with hearing sensitivities to focus on learning activities.

With an industry leading noise reduction rating of 27dB, which lets in 24.2 percent less sound than similar tools, the Hush Buddy Hearing Protector headphone reduces the maximum amount of background noise. This feature also prevents students with reduced hearing sensitivity from listening to auditory lessons, books or music at high volume levels.

Because listening material has the potential to provide a more controlled learning experience with students with autism, tools like the Hush Buddy can contribute to making simple classroom accommodations for sensory sensitivity.

To learn more about sensory sensitivities for students with autism, click here.


Helping teachers and students with educationally appropriate classroom AV equipment since 1947.