I put off buying ear defenders for years and years. I aways considered them ‘too autistic’ for me. To embarrassing. I would just endure loudness or use my hands.
A friend, seeing my slightly insane position brought me a set and they are bloody brilliant.
To say ear defenders have changed my ability to interact with the world would be underselling the change.
Here’s 3 examples:
Today I worked all day, then went to a social event. I traveled on a rush hour bus and on two trains. Yet I got home with enough spoons to write a blog post. Any one of those would normally have been too much.
A few weeks ago I visited a club with friends. I didn’t last the whole night, but I lasted a few hours and for most of it I was able to speak.
Before Christmas the NAS ran an ‘autism friendly’ rock gig. It was still way to loud for me. But with my ear defenders it was manageable almost till the end. I enjoyed it :)
These are just a couple of examples. My ear defenders have helped with the big things and the little things. Even when riding the tube into the office they have left me feeling more relaxed and alert.
A few times I have slept with them on in my favourite chair. A nice little sensory bubble.
While at first I was rather embarrassed with them, as far as i can tell no one gives a damn. I think people assume they are headphones or simply don’t notice.
If your on the autism spectrum, even if it feels a little much I would encourage you to give them a go!