How might under-responsiveness to the auditory system affect a person's behavior?
Under-responsiveness to the auditory system is characterized by a reduced sensitivity to auditory stimuli. This sensory profile can have a profound impact on an individual's behavior and interactions. When someone is under-responsive to the auditory system, they may not respond when spoken to, creating the impression that they are inattentive or disengaged. This can lead to misunderstandings and communication difficulties, especially in social and educational settings.
Another notable behavioral manifestation is difficulty in modulating the volume of their voice. Individuals who are under-responsive to auditory input may not accurately perceive the loudness of their speech, resulting in speaking at a much higher volume than intended. This can affect their social interactions and may lead to social challenges, particularly in situations where speaking at a lower volume is expected.
Additionally, these individuals often engage in seeking behaviors as a way to compensate for their reduced sensory input. They may hum or make sounds to hear themselves better, as they have difficulty discerning their own vocal output. This behavior can sometimes be perceived as distracting or socially inappropriate, and it's important to understand that it is often a coping mechanism for their sensory profile.
Recognizing the signs and understanding how under-responsiveness to the auditory system affects behavior is crucial for creating supportive environments and effective communication strategies for individuals with this sensory profile.
This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course, Employing Verbal De-Escalation Strategies In Occupational Therapy Megan Paben.