I’m pretty sure a lot of times you are out in public and you see a child or an adult wearing headphones. You might think to yourself:
“What is wrong with this person? Is he or she intending to be rude?”
Well, the answer to that question is simple:
No, that person is NOT trying to be rude in any way possible. There is actually a very good reason to why someone wears headphones. That’s because we autistics are very sensitive to the world around us. Any trait of noise we can detect like bloodhounds or coon hounds or whatever.
Some of the noise we detect can really overwhelm us greatly resulting in burnouts or sensory overloads. This is especially true when it comes to sporting events or even gatherings of all kinds. Sound can really bother us more than a neurotypical person, who might view certain sounds and not really care about it.
If you encounter someone wearing headphones in public, please be mindful because they might have autism and have really sensitive hearing. Trust me, I wear earbuds and listen to my I-Pod all the time when I am out in public. I also wear earbuds when I am getting mentally prepared for work and when I am leaving for work as well.
I also especially wear earbuds when I am travelling because even though I am very passionate about them, airports and airplanes for that matter are very overstimulating (which I will talk about more in the next blog covering overstimulation).
However, in order to not be rude, I will take one earbud out and leave the other one in the other ear. This is a sign that I am open to being social, although I am still coping with any sensory issues I may have.
If you want an example of characters wearing headphones out in public, there is the character of DJ-PON3 from “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” who oftentimes will wear headphones in most of her appearances:
So, in conclusion, headphones are more than just something you can put on your ears. For us on the autism spectrum, it is a lifeline and something that keeps us mentally fit in specific surroundings and situations.
Catch you all later!!