Earplugs for individuals with autism and sensitive hearing
How to make sound quieter, while still hearing clearly
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other sensory disorders (TBIs, hyperacusis, etc.) often have difficulties being in loud environments. Movie theaters, school cafeterias, grocery stores, crowded city streets, restaurants, and sporting events can feel unbearably loud, overwhelming, and painful to people with sensitive hearing. The common solutions for autistic individuals with sensitive hearing and individuals with other sensory disorders are to wear foam earplugs and over-ear headphones to lower the volume of their environments. Aside from the fact that these methods are often uncomfortable and draw unwanted attention to the fact that you’re wearing hearing protection, they make it impossible to hear what is going on around you and prevent you from being able to have conversations. Especially for children with autism who have sensitive hearing, this inhibits social interaction, and can also be a safety concern.
While originally designed for concertgoers, Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs (as seen on ABC’s Shark Tank) are earplugs that allow people with sensitive hearing to lower the volume of their environment to more comfortable levels while still being able to hear everything around them clearly, including speech. Unlike foam earplugs and over-ear headphones that block and muffle sounds, Vibes filter the sound using an acoustic filter and specially designed sound tubes to make it quieter, while retaining the clarity of the sound. With Vibes, children and adults with autism and sensory disorders can enjoy activities that would otherwise feel uncomfortably loud, while still being able to engage in conversations and hear everything clearly.
In reference to the adjustments that a family has to make to accommodate their child’s sensory sensitivities, one parent who purchased Vibes for his son, who has autism and is sensitive to noise, reported that Vibes “reduce those adjustments, and my son and the rest of our family get to share events and experiences we have not been able to in the past.” Vibes’ clear-as-glass design makes them virtually invisible, allowing users to be discreet about their use of hearing protection. To ensure a comfortable fit for any sized ear, each pair of Vibes includes three sizes (small, medium, and large) of soft, interchangeable eartips. Each pair also includes a pocket sized carrying case so they can always be kept on-hand. Vibes is partnered with Hear the World Foundation, and each purchase includes a donation to the Foundation, which provides hearing aids and healthcare to children in need around the world.
Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs will be featured in the August 2017 issue of Autism Parenting Magazine!