Although the causes are speculative, it is fairly common for children on the autism spectrum to exhibit deficits in auditory processing.  Common symptoms for auditory processing deficits among individuals with ASD include:

1. Difficulty understanding speech, particularly when listening with other distractions present

2. Discomfort or sensitivity to sounds

3. Difficulty with rhythm, pitch, and timing cues making it difficult to recognize changes in a speaker’s tone of voice or inflection. The speaker’s intent may often be misinterpreted.

4. Difficulty on dichotic listening tasks where the two ears are not working together.  This results because auditory information is not transfering efficiently from one hemisphere to the other.

Many children with autism benefit from the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), a listening program designed to calm the central nervous system.  Once evaluated, additional therapies can be designed to address auditory processing deficits.  Research has additionally shown a reduction in anxiety for individuals in this population following listening therapies to reduce sound sensitivity and dichotic listening programs, which improve inter-hemispheric transfer of information.