BALTIMORE — Auditory hypersensitivity issues in children with autism spectrum disorder can often lead to unsafe situations, resulting in self-harm, harm to others and seizures, according to research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting.
“Auditory hypersensitivity, common in autism, poses a potential health and safety concern to children affected,” Paul H. Lipkin, MD, an Infectious Diseases in Children Editorial Board member and director of the Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger in Baltimore, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “It also places stress and burden on those caring for the child at home, school, and in the community due to the severe behaviors associated with it.”
Paul H. Lipkin
The researchers utilized the Interactive Autism Network to survey 497 children with ASD aged 3 to 17 years. Parents completed surveys regarding their child’s current and past auditory hypersensitivity issues and detailed how those issues impact their child and family.
Study results showed that 80.5% of respondents reported some type of auditory hypersensitivity issues. These issues caused a “somewhat unsafe situation” in 41.4% of children, with 14.4% resulting in self-harm and 25.5% resulting in harm to others. The researchers wrote that children with auditory hypersensitivity issues were more likely to have seizures (11.3% vs. 7.3%) compared with all children with ASD, with 37.1% reporting seizures brought on as a response to sound.
“On the individual level, the professional community must search for solutions to the problem and for appropriate supports for those caring for the child in order to assure safety and well-being,” Lipkin said. “For researchers, this needs to be recognized as a major health burden in autism along with the need to better understand it from both the basic science level and its etiology in the brain as well as the clinical level and its impact and solutions.” – by David Costill
Law JK, et al. Abstract 2834.292. Presented at: Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting; April 30-May 3, 2016; Baltimore.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.