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Dr. Navitsky
Dr. Navitsky, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1037
Experience:  US Pediatrician licensed in California living abroad.
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My son just turned 4 a couple of weeks ago. He has often been

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My son just turned 4 a couple of weeks ago. He has often been afraid of loud noise. Recently we took him to a movie and the commercials at the beginning made him burst out screaming. I held him and talked him through it. Eventually he calmed down and watched the whole movie and was happy.

More recently he started preschool. He was excited to go to school but soon wanted to leave and not go back. He said that the other kids were too loud and it scared him. I was in the room with him for a while and it was typical loud for a preschool classroom (kids laughing and playing, wooden blogs banging together, etc.). I don't know if it is just a sensitivity to the loud noises, an actual fear, or just not happy about not being at home with Mom any more. All the other kids in the class were really nice to him, trying to hug him and making him crafts and stuff.

At what point should I be concerned?

Jnavits12 :

Hi there this is Dr. Jody Navitsky and I can chat with you today.

Jnavits12 :

Are you still around to chat?

Jnavits12 :

A sensitivity to noise in isolation (meaning without anything else that is concerning for any developmental problems or delays), really is just that. Some kids are very sensitive to noise, they either have good hearing, or a low threshold for tolerance of noise.

Jnavits12 :

Basically if he is doing well otherwise I would not worry at all about this.

Jnavits12 :

To give you a personal example, we had to sit out of Disney on Ice Princess with a real die hard princess fan for two years in a row because the sound was too much for my then 4 (and then 5) year old...after that I stopped taking her to loud events. She was unable to sit for a movie theater movie until around 6 for the same reason. Not all movie theaters are as loud as some are so you may be able to find one that is not overpowering. This same kiddo also complains that her classmates are so loud and recently would have headaches she attributed to the noise.....

Jnavits12 :

Thus I would just take into account he is sensitive to loud noises, let his teacher now, and try to gradually increase his time at school if you can as he will get accustomed to the noise level there. If it is the first time he is going to school than the noise would be enough to scare him for a bit (coupled with the newness of being without you and in a new environment!).

Jnavits12 :

In terms of movies and other loud events (like the Disney on Ice :) you can just avoid them for another year or so until you feel that he has become more adjusted to hearing loud levels of noise. There actually may be physical differences in his little hair cells that perceive sound in his ears from other kids, and they may move more with louder vibrations thus making loud noise physically uncomfortable for him.

Jnavits12 :

This should get better though as he ages as we all "loose" sensitivity in these cells as we age.

Jnavits12 :

Hi!

Customer:

Sorry, I had to step away.

Jnavits12 :

No problem, I'll give you a moment to catch up on what I have written above

Customer:

ok thanks

Customer:

all caught up

Customer:

so it sounds like nothing to be too worried about right now

Jnavits12 :

Not really no except to avoid the fireworks and other loud events! Although autistic kids have this sensitivity to sound as a general characteristic this is coupled with many many other characteristics that will lead you to believe there is a developmental problem. Just an isolated sensitivity to sound is not concerning.

Jnavits12 :

You have brought back some funny memories though of my first one screaming in Disney on Ice and me embarrassingly taking her outside of the arena to listen from outside the doors!

Customer:

well, sound and being around large groups of people, and some social interaction. But usually just until he gets to know the other kids. My wife is concerned that it may be something more serious, but I think it is just how some kids are.

Customer:

I think she is comparing him to our 2 yo daughter that will just go start talking to anyone

Jnavits12 :

He can be sensitive to sound and shy too and these things together aren't concerning. He may be "slow to warm up" but as long as he does eventually warm up and socialize well with his peers no worries! Amazing how sibling can be so different!

Customer:

ya, I think that is all it is but am thankful for a professional opinion. I think he is just not happy with having to go to school and be away from his parents all day. he has never had to do that before.

Customer:

but he will need to get used to it before Kindergarten anyway.

Customer:

and this is his way of showing his displeasure

Jnavits12 :

Maybe so, but to cut him some slack it is a totally different experience from all he has known and felt comfortable with before so give him some time to warm up to the idea. It is a good thing to have him go before kindergarten and this year will be really useful in teaching him how to start to get to know new kids and play with them well.

Jnavits12 :

In a few months he will more than likely like to go and get bored at home :)

Customer:

ya it will be good for him, it is just a difficult transition. We don't have any other option right now either, so I need to find a way to get him more comfortable as quickly as I can

Jnavits12 :

This should work out well don't worry. Preschool at his age is actually thought to be beneficial for lots of reasons so hopefully he will adjust sooner rather than later so you can feel good about taking him.

Customer:

Ok. Thanks.

Jnavits12 :

Best of luck to you!

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