A very good quote on the bottom of this picture, which is why I decided to use it here. Image courtesy of henryharveybooks.com
I once heard someone say that if you have met one person with Asperger’s Syndrome, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, then you’ve met one person with Asperger’s or ASD.
Unlike the old saying “If you’ve met one, you’ve met them all”.
One aspect of this condition that seems to be common in many folks on the Autism spectrum is a sensitivity to certain noises.
Being an “Aspie” myself, I am no exception to that aspect as there are sounds that make me want to scream in emotional agony and sounds that are completely relaxing and make me want to snuggle under the covers in my bed in comfort.
Let me describe what those noises are, first the ones that I hate:
There have been times when I want to rip those wailing things off of fire trucks and police cars, they are so loud to the point of inducing an inner fury.
Being that there are a couple of fire stations not far from where I live, I hear sirens periodically, an average of once or twice per week to my estimate.
I understand that they are inevitable, and I also know that one doesn’t have to be on the autism spectrum to hate those sounds as I have heard neurotypicals (those without ASD) complain about them, too.
But that doesn’t change the fact that they bother the heck out of me, a level of 15 on a scale of one to ten.
2. CAR ALARMS
I live in a complex which is designed so that the parking spaces are below the homes.
Which means that I hear those annoying alarms from cars from time to time.
Put it this way:
Whenever I go downstairs to our complex’s parking area, I make sure that I make no loud noises so as to not trigger those alarms, they bother me so much.
Thankfully they don’t last too long, but it doesn’t change my urge to yell, “Shut those d*** things off!”
3. DOGS BARKING
It’s the reason why I am a cat person, as incessant barking drives me absolutely nuts.
I have two examples of this…
- A few years ago, a group of folks with a dog moved next door to my house. They would park that dog on the patio right above my bedroom every day, and it would bark incessantly whenever the owners were out, which was frequently, including at night. I was so annoyed that it got to the point where I submitted a formal complaint to the manager of the complex asking to intervene. The dog and its owners moved away soon after.
- A couple of years later, there was loud barking from a German Shepherd (known barkers, which is why they are preferred by the police) who was perched on a patio across the way from my bedroom. This would start at roughly 3:00 p.m. every day and would make me want to scream in emotional agony. This situation had a more satisfying ending, however, as after explaining to the dog’s owner about my condition and how it made me noise sensitive to things like barking dogs, it was moved to another part of the house.
I know that there are non-austistics that hate dogs that bark loudly and incessantly, but my intolerance to that noise is pronounced. I think that’s the difference between someone with Asperger’s and someone who doesn’t have it.
4. BABIES AND TODDLERS CRYING
Much like dogs barking, it’s a significant factor of me not wanting children as although I like kids – I wouldn’t have worked with them as a P.E. teacher, a sports coach, and a tutor for two and a half decades if I didn’t – and think babies are adorably cute, I know I couldn’t have one of my own because I couldn’t handle things that small children do like cry loudly and incessantly and throw temper tantrums.
As I have always said, parenting is not for everyone.
I’ve always like open spaces like this meadow, as it gives off a similar relaxing feeling in me as the sounds listed below. Photo courtesy of atozallnews.blogspot.co.uk
All right, let me flip this and list the sounds and noises that I enjoy…
Looking back, I realized that I liked planes flying overhead when as a young kid living near an air force base, I would lay in my bed and experience feelings of comfort and coziness whenever a jet would fly by.
That hasn’t changed forty-something years later as the sounds of planes and helicopters induces relaxing feelings, to the point where they would help me sleep if those sounds came late at night.
Those same feelings come whenever I would hear these other sounds…
The harder the rain, the better.
Which I suppose would make me a good fit for living in Seattle, or Portland, or anywhere else in the Pacific Northwest.
See rain, as in the harder, the better.
Though I wouldn’t want to experience a category 5, Katrina-like hurricane or a tornado, as I have something against getting killed by flying debris or by having one of those EF-5 monster funnel clouds throwing me several miles.
Putting it another way, with all due respect to those regions I would not be a good fit for the Midwest, the Gulf Coast, or Florida.
And I suppose people in those areas wouldn’t think they’d be a good fit for California due to the threat of earthquakes, so it all balances out.
For the same reasons as the first three noises mentioned.
Though I know full well that I’m unique in this preference as many if not most folks hate thunder and feel threatened by it.
I, however, get a relaxing feeling from it, particularly when I’m in bed at night or in the early morning.
I always find myself counting “one-one thousand, two-one-thousand…” after a thunder boom to find out how far the accompanying lightning is; the longer you count, the farther the lightning is, which is a good tip for being safe in a big storm.
Well, that’s one aspie’s specific noise sensitivities.
If anyone on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, whether he/she has Asperger’s or full-blown autism, is reading this, I wonder what is yours?
I really like this quote from the guy whom Asperger’s Syndrome was named after in 1944; it’s quite eloquent. Image courtesy of blog.southeastpsych.com