Auditory (Hearing) problems of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

When we speak to someone they hear us and respond to us. If they don’t respond to us, we think either they have not heard us or they have heard us but don’t wish to respond. This is how it works with people who are neurotypical. Neurotypical people often assume that the way they see the world and react to the world is the same for all people. Autistic children are different. They may not respond to you in the regular manner. Autistic children may not respond immediately on calling their name or when a query is directed at them. It is not because they don’t hear us but because of the way auditory signals are processed by their brains. Sometimes they can hear the smallest of sounds that a normal person may not hear and they can ‘not hear’ the loudest of noise or whey someone calls out their name.

Physical problem not behavioural issue

Their sensitivity to sound can vary over a wider range than normal. For some of the autistic children, there may be time delay in their processing a sound that they have heard and hence they may respond a little later with a time lag. In the olden days when electronics and communication was not advanced, two people having conversation over a long distance phone had to adjust to the sounds reaching one another a little late with the time lag. So the autistic children may be processing the sounds that they hear with a greater time lag than normal hence they may also respond to your question after a time delay. This is a physical problem and not a behavioural problem and there is no deliberateness in their behaviour.