Auditory seekers are desensitized to sounds in their environment and crave sensory stimulation via loud or repetitive noises. Seekers may seem to need constant stimulation. However, they tend to become more deregulated as they take in more input. Many seekers experience symptoms associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), such low impulse control, inability to focus, and behavioral problems.
See below for some ways to identify and support auditory seekers.
Auditory Seekers May:
- Seek out loud or busy environments.
- Seem to always be yelling or speaking too loudly.
- Make repetitive sounds, such as clapping, tapping, or clicking.
- Have difficulty focusing on a task without humming or making noise.
- Prefer to have constant background noise, such as music, TV, or a fan.
- Insist on listening to TV or music at a volume that is uncomfortable to others.
How to Support Your Auditory Seeker:
- Encourage playing with instruments and other noise-making toys.
- Sleep with a fan, quiet music, or white noise machine.
- Play TV, music, and games at an increased—but safe—volume.
- Allow listening to headphones while studying or during dull/repetitive activities.
- Schedule time throughout the day to sing, clap, or listen to music. This can be especially helpful when transitioning from one activity to another.
Keep in mind that no two children are exactly alike, and most people exhibit both seeking and avoiding behaviors from time to time. If you think your child might be suffering from sensory processing issues, you should seek a professional assessment. The STAR Institute’s Treatment Directory is a great resource that can help you find therapists, doctors, and community resources in your area.