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Son covering ears . . .

In the last few weeks my son has been covering his ears with his hands a lot, although at random intervals. His is 19 months and I've called into the Dr. and they said that's what kids do (He does not have a earache). Is this really normal? Do I need to be worried about autism or a sensory disorder? Any suggestions?

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:16 PM on Jan. 28, 2009 in Kids' Health

Answers (10)
  • My daughter does it a lot. I think she's experimenting with how things sound. It's totally normal. Don't worry about it!

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:18 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • I would bring him in to see a ear specialist,just incase something is going on.

    Answer by Baby1114 at 4:18 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • My middle child (boy) has done the same thing since he was 6 months old. He tends to do it when he hears loud noises (a given) and when he is nervous or scared. It's his way of comforting himself. Some kids suck their thumbs in those situations. He's not autistic or anything else. Happy, healthy, way too energetic boy!

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 4:25 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • My 20 month old daughter does the same thing now. She just started covering her ears about a week ago. She has also started stuffing corn and peas up her nose, so I just assumed the ear "thing" is also a phase as is the nose "thing." Now I am wondering????

    Answer by rcbrown at 5:21 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • Is he just doing it randomly or when there's a loud noise? What about the pitch of a noise?

    If it's just random, he probably discovered how things sound different when he puts his hands over his ears.....

    If it was a sensory thing, he'd be doing more than just covering his ears. I have two with SPD...covering of the ears had to be taught. They used to scream, run in circles, run to another room, cry, bawl, etc whenever there was a loud noise or a high pitch (vacuum, blender, mixer, etc) Now they will cover their ears and just leave the room.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 8:45 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • I agree if he is doing it at random times, probably testing out a new skill.

    Sort of like the pp said usually for sensory/Autism the kids also have anxiety with the noise. Though my son did naturally cover his ears as well with it. He would also get upset though and become anxious and like the pp said try to get away from the noise. He has a spd and a type of autism.

    Even if he seems sensitive to some noises it could be a phase. I would keep at eye on it and unless other symptoms accompany it, like increased anxiety, other sensory problems with touch, texture, movement, clothing start to crop up then I would recommend an evaluation.

    Answer by J9Mommy at 10:52 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • My son used to do that. He went through that phase followed by covering his eyes. I read some where that it was normal for them to experiment with there senses like that. Cover and uncovering ears to hear the sound difference, eyes to see the light dark difference, it even said that some kids will lick random things at that age. Thankfully mine never did that! That article made me feel much better about his actions though.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:33 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • It's normal for some kids to experiment with covering their ears or eyes around that age. If he doesn't seem anxious or upset then I wouldn't worry about it. My child with sensory issues was more like previous posters have said. He would "freak out" and try to get away before he would think to cover his ears.

    Answer by jessradtke at 10:42 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • my 12 month old went in to the dr bc she was fussing a lot and she is usually pretty happy smiling all the time so they decided to see her and they said she had an ear infection. Two weeks after she had the infection she was done with the medication. She was putting her hands over both ears all the time so I took her back in and they checked her ears and they were fine. So like one post said it might be the sound. My daughter does that all the time and her ears are fine.

    Answer by mommy5409 at 12:11 PM on Jan. 30, 2009

  • my 16 months doing the same thing, he had an ear infection a month ago now got better from the ear infection but he still covring his ears when ever he gets mad /like i said no/ or if we went out and he sees a strangers, his doctor said its his way of reaction i still don't like it, any ideas what to do?

    Answer by froufrou at 7:42 PM on Feb. 7, 2014

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