This is new for J-man.
And if you were just observing this behavior in isolation, you might think that he is having a sensory reaction to the volume of the movie. He has done this “hands-over-ears-too-loud-too-loud” behavior again and again over the past several weeks to different movies and at different times. He can be perfectly happy and content with the volume at one moment and suddenly “too-loud-too-loud.” So is this some kind of new hypersenstivity to sound?
I don’t think so. And here is why…
In this particular clip, we are watching Cars 2. Mater, the best friend to Lighting McQueen, is on the phone with one of his competitors arguing about how great Lighting McQueen is. Eventually, McQueen gets on the phone and has a little verbal sparring with the other car. It is a low key, kinda cute exchange.
J-man also does “too-loud-too-loud” to the Lion King. It is always at the same scene…. no, not one of the many scary-ish battle scenes. He does “too-loud” when Mufasa lectures Simba about being responsible. He does “too loud” to the movie Cats and Dogs when the evil white Cat is about to get a bath from the maid. And he does “too loud” to Happy Feet when Mumble is being lectured by his dad. And when Lilo’s sister yells at her in Lilo and Stitch.
I don’t think this is about volume, do you?
There is a lot of controversy about whether or not people on the spectrum are senstive to emotions of others and exhibit empathy. It is a topic that generates a lot of discussion. Well, my 4 year old ASD boy covers his ears and is upset when the (negative) emotional content of a movie becomes too much. What do you think that means?
About the Author: Pia is the mother of J-man, a boy on the autism spectrum. She describes herself as “a fierce protector, fiery advocate, and in desperate need of a nap.” She has a PhD in Developmental Psychology and works as a NICU nurse. This piece fist appeared on her blog, The Crack and the Light, is reprinted here by permission.