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Meltdown from chewing noise

Inu_S

New Member
So, I’m the aspie, but my daughter (12, undiagnosed) melts down when she hears the sound of my chewing.

She will start shrugging, crying, yelling at me that I’m disgusting, hitting objects around her. This happens at home. In public she might hold a hand to an ear and look away, but holds back.

I totally understand not standing certain sounds and have supported her with noise cancelling headphones. I have also tried working through the discomfort, rewarding when she could hold back on a weekend trip when the headphones were forgotten.

I was hoping this would wear off, but it’s been a few years and getting worse. I think she needs an outlet for her general irritation in a safe place, and this is it. But it’s not much fun to be around. She occasionally has other ticks, like licking hands, air kissing all animals she sees, touching hands to surfaces around her. Not easy to seek help as her father (separated) would have to consent. Also reply from school doctor has been “tics are normal for kids”.

Any ideas on how I can handle this?
 

Inu_S

New Member
At that age, it's partially a brat attack, especially since you say she does it in the home, but not in public. She knows she can get her way.

At 12, they still think they are the center of the universe. She needs her haughtiness to be broken down a little bit, well, maybe that's not the right phrase. She needs to be shown very firmly, without violence, that she is a member of a household, and she can't hit her parents, without severe consequences.

Law enforcement, if she freaks out like that on a peer, will not go as easily on her as you would. So it is imperative that you teach her in the home, that she is subordinate to many people and groups in this society.

My mom, from an older generation, would say "Knock her to the ground". But PLEASE don't listen to her, obviously. She needs to be humbled, emotionally, without trauma. She needs to know that she is the beta to the alpha.

She needs a good, long, serious lecture, where there are no uncertainties leftover, that the world does not revolve around her, and that she cannot usually have her way. She needs to know that at her age, law enforcement starts to pay a little more attention to people's behavior, and that if she did that in public, or to someone else, and a cop saw, she could be arrested.

At twelve, their blows start to hurt a little more, and you can be injured. It is not abusive to physically restrain her from hurting herself or others.

List out consequences for that behavior, right there, and be firm with it. Make sure there are no uncertainties. She needs to know that it is unacceptable at any time, in life, to hit another person or insult them, unless in self defense against an attacker. Lay down the law, and stick to it.
To clarify, she does not hit me. She is a very sensitive and caring person, and the second the chewing stops, so does her malaise, and she will immediately curl up in my lap.

She is also very stubborn, and escalating conflicts has never worked with her. I have had much more success with Eskimo-type parenting, turning the issue into a joke, talking about it from the perspective of humour.

Also, I don’t believe in emotional humbling - period.
 

Gerontius

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
So, I’m the aspie, but my daughter (12, undiagnosed) melts down when she hears the sound of my chewing.

She will start shrugging, crying, yelling at me that I’m disgusting, hitting objects around her. This happens at home. In public she might hold a hand to an ear and look away, but holds back.

I totally understand not standing certain sounds and have supported her with noise cancelling headphones. I have also tried working through the discomfort, rewarding when she could hold back on a weekend trip when the headphones were forgotten.

I was hoping this would wear off, but it’s been a few years and getting worse. I think she needs an outlet for her general irritation in a safe place, and this is it. But it’s not much fun to be around. She occasionally has other ticks, like licking hands, air kissing all animals she sees, touching hands to surfaces around her. Not easy to seek help as her father (separated) would have to consent. Also reply from school doctor has been “tics are normal for kids”.

Any ideas on how I can handle this?

This is awfully close to what they call misophonia, or the hatred of particular sounds. I know of a friend of mine whose brother had to eat at the table with earmuffs on--the kind hunters wear when shooting, or that lumberjacks wear when they use their chainsaws.

You really will have better luck working on it as misophonia, I think, instead of the boneheaded school nurse's "silly parent; tics are for kids!" approach. That is not a tic; that's an actual thing. What happens is the sound of chewing activates the fight-or-flight response so it becomes (to the one with the condition) acutely distressing, in a very real way.

I see that the family is separated, but seeking help is still probably the best option. If it doesn't work I'd say go with figuring out what treatments the professionals use, and then going from there, attempting to re-create it at home.
 

Inu_S

New Member
This is awfully close to what they call misophonia, or the hatred of particular sounds. I know of a friend of mine whose brother had to eat at the table with earmuffs on--the kind hunters wear when shooting, or that lumberjacks wear when they use their chainsaws.

You really will have better luck working on it as misophonia, I think, instead of the boneheaded school nurse's "silly parent; tics are for kids!" approach. That is not a tic; that's an actual thing. What happens is the sound of chewing activates the fight-or-flight response so it becomes (to the one with the condition) acutely distressing, in a very real way.

I see that the family is separated, but seeking help is still probably the best option. If it doesn't work I'd say go with figuring out what treatments the professionals use, and then going from there, attempting to re-create it at home.
Thank you, great to hear she is not the only one. The fight-or-flight response is really spot on, as is misophonia.

Would love advice on desensitisation, if that’s even possible.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
That sounds similar to how I feel about the loud sound of pigeons on my roof. Creating a sound that I simply cannot tolerate, regardless of sound frequencies. Yes- Misophonia, absolutely. The how's of it I know well. The whys remain a mystery. Especially given how I can deal with other sounds with much more tolerance in comparison.

Though I suppose it depends on the individual as to whether or not things like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy might work. Something that failed in terms of treatment for my OCD. Hearing pigeons over and over again just to desensitize me to it will not work either. They remain so disturbing to me that I am forced to chase them away with a broom- or put on my ear protectors. Yeah- fight or flight. But pigeons can be merciless about where they choose to nest. Sounds absurd to most everyone, but for me it's momentary torture. Though for me it happens and goes so quickly that I don't experience a meltdown per se.

There may not be much of anything you can do for your child in this regard. But you have nothing to lose by running it past professionals who might have a viable therapy in mind. As I said, for some such things may work, while for others like myself, no such luck.
 
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CrazyInTrains

Active Member
That sounds very much like me. I can't stand the sounds my dad and brother chewing. Makes me :mad: .

I've no idea how to solve the issue but other seems to already have mentioned some good ideas.
I usually hit myself under the table to keep myself from screaming, but it doesn't work very well. I would love to eat alone all the time, would feel so much better. But neither of these are a good solution in the long run of course.
 

Inu_S

New Member
Update:
So I made a TikTok account with me chewing. The first video is DJ Tiesto’s song BOOM and me chewing a Cheeto. So, no chewing sound, only the music going BOOM BOOM in rhythm to my jaws. The chewing sound will come later. In the meanwhile I will buy fun stuff to chew on, like candy and weird fruit, and dress up in wigs and hats and do funny make up when I chew.

Based on what I read about misophonia she needs to condition her brain to associate the sound with something else than danger/anger/disgust. Like laughing at her mum maybe? With the videos, she will have control over when, and if, she watches and exposes herself to the sound. That should make the experience less threatening.

Wish me luck <3
 

Inu_S

New Member
That sounds similar to how I feel about the loud sound of pigeons on my roof. Creating a sound that I simply cannot tolerate, regardless of sound frequencies. Yes- Misophonia, absolutely. The how's of it I know well. The whys remain a mystery. Especially given how I can deal with other sounds with much more tolerance in comparison.

Though I suppose it depends on the individual as to whether or not things like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy might work. Something that failed in terms of treatment for my OCD. Hearing pigeons over and over again just to desensitize me to it will not work either. They remain so disturbing to me that I am forced to chase them away with a broom- or put on my ear protectors. Yeah- fight or flight. But pigeons can be merciless about where they choose to nest. Sounds absurd to most everyone, but for me it's momentary torture. Though for me it happens and goes so quickly that I don't experience a meltdown per se.

There may not be much of anything you can do for your child in this regard. But you have nothing to lose by running it past professionals who might have a viable therapy in mind. As I said, for some such things may work, while for others like myself, no such luck.
Totally get how that noise can be appalling. Just reading about it I see claws on roofs in front of me. Wish I could buy you a pigeon plushie to toss across the room sometimes
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Totally get how that noise can be appalling. Just reading about it I see claws on roofs in front of me. Wish I could buy you a pigeon plushie to toss across the room sometimes

Thanks. However frankly I'd prefer a pellet rifle that fires at 1200 fps. But that would get me fined by the city and evicted by my landlord. Supposedly there's a pest control contractor coming that will clear out the gutters and fix them so birds cannot nest in the roofs, but I'll believe it when I no longer hear it.

It's just weird to explain as there are other sounds much louder and probably disturbing to most people. It's definitely something pathological and irrational for me. But I have to tell it like it is for some of us on the spectrum. For both you and your daughter. Let her know there are other people like her who truly understand.

I just hope there aren't a lot of other sounds that can bother her so much. It's not an easy existence.
 
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Inu_S

New Member
Thanks. However frankly I'd prefer a pellet rifle that fires at 1200 fps. But that would get me fined by the city and evicted by my landlord. Supposedly there's a pest control contractor coming that will clear out the gutters and fix them so birds cannot nest in the roofs, but I'll believe it when I no longer hear it.

It's just weird to explain as there are other sounds much louder and probably disturbing to most people. It's definitely something pathological and irrational for me. But I have to tell it like it is for some of us on the spectrum. For both you and your daughter. Let her know there are other people like her who truly understand.

I just hope there aren't a lot of other sounds that can bother her so much. It's not an easy existence.
You don’t get a rifle, you only get a stuffy to abuse ;-)
Thank you for sharing. Sad to see how this condition causes suffering. All the less reason to punish or diminish someone for it.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Sad to see how this condition causes suffering. All the less reason to punish or diminish someone for it.
Our reality being that:

1) There will be a very few who want to understand and will succeed.

2) More who will want to understand and fail.

3) With the vast majority indifferently demanding or expecting that we neurologically conform to that majority.
 

Fino

Alex
V.I.P Member
Does she have this issue with everyone's chewing? One of my brothers chews so loudly that I dash out of the room if I'm caught in it with him chewing. I don't know why some people chew like animals, but I'm okay with most other people's chewing.
 

VictorR

Random Member
V.I.P Member
I have a family member on the spectrum who chews loudly with their mouth open, the sounds of which are disturbing for me. I think it's a stim for them, so I ususally just remove myself from their presence since I recognize that it's a conflicting needs situation.
 

Yeshuasdaughter

You know, that one lady we met that one time.
V.I.P Member
To clarify, she does not hit me. She is a very sensitive and caring person, and the second the chewing stops, so does her malaise, and she will immediately curl up in my lap.

She is also very stubborn, and escalating conflicts has never worked with her. I have had much more success with Eskimo-type parenting, turning the issue into a joke, talking about it from the perspective of humour.

Also, I don’t believe in emotional humbling - period.
I didn't mean it the way I posted it. I'm sorry. I've been really sick lately, and I guess I couldn't grasp the words I meant to say.

What I meant was that at that age, if it's just in the house, it's kind of the same as the Terrible Twos. But society starts to expect certain behavior from tweens, and if she were to hit or freak out outside the home, she may face more serious consequences- that you would not be able to intervene in, either.

I didn't mean "emotional humbling". That does sound rather ghastly. I'm sorry. What I mean is, around this age, all kids need to have the very serious talk that they aren't the center of the universe, and that no matter what, they have to live with people. That there are responsibilities to others, and that we have to learn to overcome things that bother us, but are simple facts of life. It's a long talk, with no uncertainties in it. Facts are facts.

It is a humbling moment, when you realize that everything on earth does not involve you. It happens in the Middle School years. That is what I meant. It is a part of growing up. Usually there are tears shed, but they are good tears. The tears of growth and maturity.

There is a huge gulf between a long talk, and a conflict.

No matter how much we protest, certain things are just facts of life (like Mother needing to eat), and will never go away, so we need to learn tolerance.
 
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Storm Hess

Permanent Spaceman
So, I’m the aspie, but my daughter (12, undiagnosed) melts down when she hears the sound of my chewing.

She will start shrugging, crying, yelling at me that I’m disgusting, hitting objects around her. This happens at home. In public she might hold a hand to an ear and look away, but holds back.

I totally understand not standing certain sounds and have supported her with noise cancelling headphones. I have also tried working through the discomfort, rewarding when she could hold back on a weekend trip when the headphones were forgotten.

I was hoping this would wear off, but it’s been a few years and getting worse. I think she needs an outlet for her general irritation in a safe place, and this is it. But it’s not much fun to be around. She occasionally has other ticks, like licking hands, air kissing all animals she sees, touching hands to surfaces around her. Not easy to seek help as her father (separated) would have to consent. Also reply from school doctor has been “tics are normal for kids”.

Any ideas on how I can handle this?
This is a HUGE trigger for me! I absolutely HATE hearing chewing, slurping or smacking noises from people or pets eating food or drinking. I can not stand animals cleaning themselves either.

I have not found anything to make this trigger lessen. I normally wear my noise cancelling headphones during food time...and mostly eat alone.
 

Tom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Get a bunch of these to conduct acclimization therapy.

wind-up-teeth.gif


;)

P.S. I am only half joking in the sense that I often will try to introduce humor in the process. If you can get the person laughing at the problem its a good step in learning how to manage it.
 

Inu_S

New Member
Get a bunch of these to conduct acclimization therapy.

View attachment 82940

;)

P.S. I am only half joking in the sense that I often will try to introduce humor in the process. If you can get the person laughing at the problem its a good step in learning how to manage it.
I love this :D getting some and they are coming to tease her!

@Yeshuasdaughter thank your for clarifying and offering your thoughts for help. I definitely will continue to eat, and she doesn’t want to eat apart from me, so she has to figure out how to handle this in a better way. Clearly with age comes more responsibility.

For now she has commented “oh no” on my first chewing Tik Tok and then pressed “follow” on my new account :D :D :D
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Based on what I read about misophonia she needs to condition her brain to associate the sound with something else than danger/anger/disgust. Like laughing at her mum maybe? With the videos, she will have control over when, and if, she watches and exposes herself to the sound. That should make the experience less threatening.

Wish me luck <3

One other thing to understand about conditions like Misophonia is how they can be so related to OCD. Where it may be more effective to get at your daughter's possible post traumatic stress triggers rather than approaches involving only cognitive behavioral therapy. While discovering my own autism, I have lived with formally diagnosed OCD, social anxiety and clinical depression for a very long time.

With my own conclusion that my autism is not so much of a problem as are my comorbid conditions. Pity though that I didn't even discuss my auditory issues at the time with my physician. Though in the early 80s it probably wouldn't have mattered.


 
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