3 doctors weighed in:

Why does my autistic son cover his ears? It has nothing to do with loud sounds. He usually does it while watching tv even if the sound is low.

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brian Writer
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: See below

People with pervasive developmental disorders such as autism can engage in repetitive, stereotyped behaviors that don't appear to be related to their external world (eg sound level).
These behaviors can be relatively complex such as covering one's ears. This may represent an inflexible routine associated with sitting in front of the television. Consider reviewing further with a doctor.

In brief: See below

People with pervasive developmental disorders such as autism can engage in repetitive, stereotyped behaviors that don't appear to be related to their external world (eg sound level).
These behaviors can be relatively complex such as covering one's ears. This may represent an inflexible routine associated with sitting in front of the television. Consider reviewing further with a doctor.
Dr. Brian Writer
Dr. Brian Writer
Thank
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental & Behavioral

In brief: Although not in DSM

Criteria for autistic disorder, over- or under-reacting to any of the 5 senses is an atypical behavior seen in children with ad, as are lack of theory of mind (understanding that others can have a different point of view than his) & lack of facial recognition ("reading" facial expressions).
Use screen time only as a reward for eye contact, compliance, turn-taking, or joint attention, max. 2 hrs/d.

In brief: Although not in DSM

Criteria for autistic disorder, over- or under-reacting to any of the 5 senses is an atypical behavior seen in children with ad, as are lack of theory of mind (understanding that others can have a different point of view than his) & lack of facial recognition ("reading" facial expressions).
Use screen time only as a reward for eye contact, compliance, turn-taking, or joint attention, max. 2 hrs/d.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Thank
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics

In brief: Over stimulated

As kids have sensory guarding.
Their perception of the verbal/auditory world is different and heightened. Mannerisms of coping often deteriorate into self stimulation activity. This happens with taste and touch as well (licking, smelling, tasting all manner of things). But does not usually happen in the visual realm, which is their strength.

In brief: Over stimulated

As kids have sensory guarding.
Their perception of the verbal/auditory world is different and heightened. Mannerisms of coping often deteriorate into self stimulation activity. This happens with taste and touch as well (licking, smelling, tasting all manner of things). But does not usually happen in the visual realm, which is their strength.
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Thank
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