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Thomas McKean

Thomas McKean describes his hearing:

"Also due to an operation in my right ear when I was very young, I am losing hearing in one ear. And so the frequencies of each ear have different sensitivities. So sometimes when I hear one thing coming into both ears, it sounds like two separate sounds and my brain tries to separate them. This is confusing because you can’t separate only one sound. Add to that the natural hypersensitivity to noise that people with autism have. So I am deaf to some tones, hypersensitive to others. Processing audio is very difficult for me to do. I have learned though that it appears to be necessary so I do the best I can and I am still trying to learn ways to do it better"

Thomas McKean’s advice to parents:

"I have noticed over the years, and I have no scientific data to back this up, it is merely an observation of one seasoned advocate, that there is a correlation between auditory dysfunction and violent behavior in the person with autism. If your child is acting violent (for no apparent reason), check the environment. It may be something you don’t even hear yourself, like fluorescent lights. Take them someplace quiet and calm so they can get themselves together. Other sensory bombardment causes the same reaction, but I have noticed that auditory problems are the worst."

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