Untold Stories: How One Girl Manages Autism and Sensory Overload with ISOtunes Headphones

Many ISOtunes customers use their Bluetooth earplugs and earmuffs to block noise while they work. However, some others use their hearing protection to do more than just block noise. We recently learned of a few ISOtunes customers who use their headphones to manage extraordinary life conditions. These are their stories. 

 

Meet Annaiya. Annaiya is 8 years old and lives with her parents in Virginia. She loves playing Minecraft on her iPad and discovering new music on Youtube Kids. She’s bright, energetic, and incredibly warm-hearted. She also adores her parents and will tell you so herself! There are so many words we could use to describe Annaiya, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention her Autism diagnosis. 


Annaiya was diagnosed with Autism when she was 2 years old after battling infantile seizures and hematomas since the age of 6 months. When her parents and doctors noticed she wasn’t meeting milestones, her pediatrician performed an Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and found deficits that indicated she was on the Autism spectrum. In addition to these deficits, her pediatrician also observed stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerism, redacted and fixated interests, and abnormalities in her sensory behaviors. One of these abnormalities included how Annaiya responded to loud sounds. 


Doctor’s call this hyperacusis, or a sensitivity to loud sounds. Sound sensitivity is fairly common with those with autism, especially in children. According to a study conducted by Northwestern University, children with autism are more likely to rate sounds over 40 dB as being significantly louder than children without autism. But just because this is a common symptom of Autism, doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with. 

 ...children with autism are more likely to rate sounds over 40 dB as being significantly louder than children without autism.


Annaiya and her family live close to a military base, which means the roaring of planes and helicopters overhead is fairly common. It’s also very loud. For reference, a jet engine alone can produce 120-140 dB of noise. As you can imagine, Annaiya doesn’t like the sound of planes overhead and the overwhelming noise can sometimes be too much for her to manage. Her parents knew they needed to find a solution to help her cope with all the noise. 

 

Sound Level Comparison dBA

 

 

At first, they tried a pair of passive earmuffs to block overwhelming sounds. This worked fine, except Annaiya could no longer listen to her iPad. So she’d take them off and they’d be back to square one. Annaiya needed a product that would block loud sounds while letting her listen to music and her games.


So they tried ISOtunes. Annaiya’s father, Anson, is a self-taught Blacksmith who was already using ISOtunes when working in his smithy. His ISOtunes FREEs helped block noise while letting him listen to music, and he even promoted the products on his Youtube channel. Then he got an idea, what if Annaiya could use ISOtunes to help manage her sound sensitivity?


Anson reached out to ISOtunes in April to see if the ISOtunes LINK could do the job. We shipped him a pair right away and immediately Annaiya fell in love. “OH MY GOODNESS,” she exclaimed after opening the box. But really, you should see her reaction for yourself. 

 

Ivey's Family Factotum | Day 1: Gift from ISOtunes for our Autistic daughter.

Annaiya was able to peacefully play her games, listen to music, and relax. An added benefit? She can listen to her music and entertainment as loud as she likes without damaging her hearing. “She hates loud music and loud things, except for on her tablet. The volume has to be to the max,” Anson chuckled to himself. “And that’s the thing I love about the LINK. It’s hearing protection. The music coming in is at a set, safe volume.”


So where is Annaiya today? She’s doing well. She’s slowly getting used to some loud noises, but her ISOtunes are always within reach. 


In addition to recommending ISOtunes headphones, Annaiya’s mother, Gladis, has one final word of advice for parents in similar positions: “You are the best advocate for your child.” Anson and Gladis are not only advocates for Annaiya, but for all children on the Autism spectrum. As ISOtunes social media affiliates, they donate 100% of their revenue to Autism research and resources. 


We’re honored to be a part of Annaiya’s story and thank Anson and Gladis for the opportunity to speak with the entire family. If you’re interested in donating to the Organization for Autism Research, please click here


If ISOtunes has become a staple in your life, or if you’ve been uniquely affected by Bluetooth Hearing Protection, please fill out this form for an opportunity to be featured on our website. 


*Anson is an ISOtunes Affiliate and earns commission from traffic he sends to ISOtunes.com. 100% of revenue earned from using his link goes towards Autism research and resources. If you’re interested in donating to the cause, use Anson’s affiliate link or donate directly here. Anson and Gladis are Retired Navy Veterans and offer free blacksmithing and woodworking classes to all Veterans. To learn more, visit their Youtube Channel.

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