Wednesday, April 08, 2015

How to Get Kids with Autism to Lower there Voices

Over the years, one of the biggest issues we have had as parents of kids on the Autism Spectrum is talking at a respectable level. I have two children that are sensory seeking and one that is a sensory avoider.  In my family, the sensory avoider talks very low, often mumbling, to the point of having to ask him to repeat it.

For that sensory avoider, asking him to repeat what he says can push him towards a meltdown. As he can't stand repeating words or phrases. Here in, is another issue I will talk about later.

Having two sensory seekers tends to make the house very loud. Now I am an avoider. I like quiet and loud noises cause pain to my ears. My daughter is now an adult and has mastered the art of lowering her voice. But for my youngest son, that's another story. It's like he's speaking through a megaphone ALL the time and it hurts my ears.

Autism and loud talkers

I have been emailed or have had notes sent home telling me that he talks too loud and that they can't get him to listen or lower his voice.  He would get yellows and reds on his behavior reports because he could not control his volume. It wasn't until I explained to them that because he was a sensory seeker he tended to speak louder that they stopped counting that on his daily reports. The problem is, he doesn't realize he's being loud.

How do you get them to turn down the volume?

 It may not even occur to these kids that talking too loud inside, is not appropriate behavior. They need to be told and reminded many times before it will sink in. They may not even realize they are speaking that loudly.

Demonstration is the key with kids on the spectrum. Show them the different volume levels don't just tell them. You can demonstrate with your voice how they sound right at that moment and also speak in a normal or quieter voice and explain that this is the appropriate voice for indoors and why.

Come up with a subtle signal between the two of you that lets your child know they need to lower their voices. I rub my chin when I think my son is getting too loud. He's learned to watch me and I can quietly correct him. You don't want to embarrass them but at the same time they need to know their volume is too loud.

Turn Down the Volume

At times, certain social situations will arise that they are not comfortable with. Some kids stim in certain ways. For example, flapping hands, spinning, chewing on clothes. It's a way for them to calm themselves, a coping mechanism based on the overwhelming circumstances.  Talking loudly can be a way of stimming.  Observe them in these situations and see if that is the cause and try to avoid them if at all possible.

Role play can help him see when it's appropriate to speak loudly. Acting out certain situations can show him how he needs to speak. Eventually, he will get it on his own.

Preparation is a must. I always tell my son before we get out of the car the appropriate volume that he is to speak at. I also remind him of our signal and that he needs to watch me if he has questions about his volume level.

Lastly, don't forget to praise them when you have noticed that they did well. They need positive re-enforcement. These kids have so many things they do or don't understand is not correct that they often feel that they can't get anything right. Knowing that they tried hard and did a wonderful job just affirms that they can do this.

Be patient, moms. It will happen. It takes time, and lots of teaching for them to get it. But they will eventually!

Related Posts:

5 Tips for Coping with Childhood Rage

6 Apps that help with Dysgraphia

How to Avoid Behavioral Issues Outside the Home with ADHD Kids


  1. I think praise and positive reinforcement are great for helping to learn any behaviors. Thanks for the tips!

  2. I didn't realize talking loudly was sometimes a form of stimming. That's interesting, and I like your techniques to help them be aware of it and lower their voices.

  3. I don't have a child on the spectrum, but these are great ideas for all parents. A lot of behavior modification is training and reinforcement.

  4. These are great tips for all kids! Also good insight for those that might not understand where the drive to talk loudly or quietly may come from.

  5. I don't have an autistic child, but know several friends who do and some of these ideas do work for their kids. Great post!

  6. I'm sure that any mother or father with children on the spectrum will appreciate the benefit of your experience and appreciate your sharing these tips.

  7. Thanks for these great tips. While my child is not autistic I have several friends who have children on the spectrum and I'll be sharing this with them.

  8. Great advice! I think that all parents could use this advice from time to time!

  9. Those are some great tips for helping with this. I have a loud talker too I will try some of these tips.

  10. Thank you for the advice it will help when dealing with my nephew that has a mild case of Autism

  11. Although my children are not autistic (they both have ADHD like I do), they're pretty loud! Therefore, I can benefit from these tips, too.


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