For as long as I can remember in her short little life, Lucy has always been sensitive to loud noises and things out of the ordinary. The blender, the vacuum, the hair dryer, helicopters, planes, lawnmowers and loud trucks are all examples of things that can set her off, even when they aren’t running. She’ll come over with a terrified or disgusted grimace and shake her head no, pointing to whatever is ailing her, sometimes crying in fear. She’s also terrified of other strange things like dogs, cats and certain people, especially the Easter bunny and Santa Claus in the flesh.
If it weren’t for the ability to compare Lucy to Karson, I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it. I would have attributed her behavior to normal baby behavior but I can see Karson is clearly not affected. In fact, he’ll follow loud noises out of interest.
Sensitivity to loud noises can be an early flag for autism so it’s important to pay attention to these behaviors but I’ve never seen any other signals in Lucy to give me cause for alarm.
Also, her reactions seem to be lessening over time. She now doesn’t seem as afraid of trucks but still always points them out like she’s aware they’re there and she’s going to stay on guard, which is probably a good thing. She’ll say “tauk, tauk, tauk!” Which translates to “truck, truck, truck.” She does the same with planes too, “pan, pan, pan!”
She also has taken an extreme interest in our chickens which surprises me since chickens are loud and fast and have sharp beaks that could seem scary to a little person. Despite these features, visiting the chickens is always the first thing she wants to do when we go outside.
She’s given me other surprises lately that have lessened my worry. She wasn’t phased at all by all the many strange creatures at the UFO festival and the big loud waves at our recent trip to the beach didn’t scare her at all. She was a little terrified of the polar bear at the zoo but then again, I think I still am too.
Although she doesn’t become nearly as terrified as she used to, I can tell she’s still wary of all things loud and new, much more so than Karson ever has been. I don’t know what it all means or how it will affect her later in life but with continuing gentle and gradual exposure to the world and all its noisy, loud and startling stimulus, she’s learning to catalog all those sounds and sights and learning to trust more. I can tell she’s learning I’ll protect her from everything I possibly can and the world isn’t such a scary place, at least not all the time. And for those times that are, a tight hug and a kiss can make it all a little better.