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Vibes: A Solution to Sound Sensitivity

While individuals diagnosed with autism and other sensory disorders can have a broad spectrum of symptoms, there is one symptom that seems to be more universal than others: sensitivity to noise. For those of us that aren’t as sensitive to noise, it may not be obvious, but parks, playgrounds, restaurants, shopping malls, busy city streets, airports, birthday parties, movie theaters, school cafeterias (the list goes on), can all feel painfully loud for individuals with autism and other sensory disorders.

While you can try to limit your child’s exposure to loud environments, it’s kind of impossible to avoid them. Over-ear earmuffs and foam earplugs are sometimes the standard solutions for making kiddos that are sensitive to sound more comfortable in loud environments, but they can sometimes not allow a kiddo to blend in with their environment. While they do block out the loud noises, these methods also make it impossible for individuals to hear anything at all, which can be a safety concern, and, along with the stigmatization of their sometimes bright, bulky appearance, can inhibit social interaction. That’s where Vibes come in. Although they were initially designed for concertgoers, Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs have become a  tool in the autism and sensory disorder community to help reduce discomfort resulting from loud sound, without inhibiting the ability to hear clearly.

Vibes are small reusable earplugs designed to reduce the noise of the outside world instead of muffling or muting it. It can help kids naturally engage with their environment. Quite simply, they turn down the volume (by 22 decibels, to be exact). Unlike bulky earmuffs, the earplugs have a low-profile design, which allows individuals to be very discreet about the fact that they’re wearing hearing protection, which is especially important as kids get older and are less keen on standing out. You can’t really notice them. Each pair of Vibes includes three sizes of soft eartips to ensure a comfortable fit for different sized ears, a pocket-sized carrying case, and the option to include an attachable cord that allows the earplugs to be hung around the neck to prevent them from getting lost.

Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs have helped thousands of sound-sensitive individuals stay comfortable and calm in a wide variety of loud environments, like classrooms, school cafeterias, parties, playgrounds, movie theaters, sporting events, loud restaurants, and more.

Here are a few examples of different environments that Vibes are useful for:

  • School – Whether it’s a loud classroom, cafeteria, or assembly, Vibes will allow those with sensitivity to sound to be comfortable in these loud environments, while still being able to hear everything around them clearly and easily communicate verbally. Additionally, as kids get older, the more they’ll be concerned about “standing out” from their peers. With traditional earmuffs, standing out from the crowd is unavoidable, but with Vibes’ clear, low-profile design, kids can be discreet about wearing hearing protection at school.
  • Parks, playgrounds, birthday parties – Whenever you get a big group of kids together in a setting that’s designed for them to let loose and have fun, yelling and screaming is inevitable. While other kids may be having fun, the yelling and screaming can be painful and anxiety-inducing for kids with more sensitive hearing. With Vibes, kids can keep their ears comfortable, while still being able to play and talk with everyone around them.
  • Movie theaters – Going to see a movie on the big screen at the theater is a great treat, but it can be a recipe for sensory overload. If the loudspeakers cause discomfort for kids who are sensitive to sound, Vibes will reduce the volume of the speakers to a more comfortable level, while still allowing them to hear the speech and music clearly.
  • Sporting events – For a kid who’s a big sports fan, going to see their favorite team play in person can be a huge thrill, but the loud music, booming voice of the announcer, and screaming fans can sometimes be too much. When wearing Vibes, kids can still feel the energy of the exciting environment and hear all the sounds of the stadium, just at a quieter volume that’s more comfortable for their ears.

Our 2018 Halloween Photo Contest Winner is…

Once again, our creative customers didn’t make it easy for us to choose a winner in this year’s Halloween Photo Contest. We had so many incredible submissions that not only wowed us but also made our hearts swell. It was so amazing and inspiring how hard parents work to make sure their kids have the best holiday possible. We are so inspired by YOU!

This year’s winner is Bradley! He is a hippie in a VW bus.


We asked his mom to tell us a bit about the costume. She said:


The costume idea was created by Mom. Bradley loves old VW’s and attends several car shows throughout the year. So mom thought it would be fun to make Bradley his very own bus! And of course dress him as a hippie to go along with his awesome costume. Walkin & Rollin costumes started the costume and Mom did a lot of the work herself adding all the finishing touches and even helping with adjusting the frame to fit on Bradley’s chair. It was a team effort between a lot of awesome people to create this amazing costume for Bradley. The frame was created using pvc pipe. We had to find some very creative ways to get Bradley in the bus and attach the frame to his chair so he could push the whole thing. The rest of the costume was made out of construction board and a lot of creativity . For our first event out in Bradley’s costume, we took it camping at the desert and everyone at the campground loved it and he won first place in the costume contest contest. For his second outing in his Bus we took him to a local police trunk or treat and again everyone loved it. He had so much fun being able to push the whole thing himself and had the biggest smile. For his 3rd outing we took him out Halloween night around our neighborhood and again everyone was checking out his costume and he got to make lots of new friends!

She also sent us some super cool pictures of the construction process!

Here’s the PVC pipe skeleton of the bus:

And here are the elements of the bus before they went into making it!


Thanks Julie and Bradley Nance! Congratulations! 

Tips for increasing mindfulness and mental wellness

Let’s make it mindful! Life can get stressful, so it’s no wonder that so many of us have a difficult time healthily expressing ourselves. Whether you’re a mom, dad, or kiddo, we have just a few tips that might help you learn to self-soothe. While it is easier said than done, it’s an invaluable skill for anyone to know how tactics for calming during stressful or anxious situations. Life is going to throw so many trials at everybody, and the best thing to do is to learn how to address those using your noggin.

Increasing one’s mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and the likes. Increasing mindfulness is likely not a quick fix for any mental health issues. These tips, while being helpful, may not cure any of the aforementioned issues, but it may lighten the effects if used regularly over a period of time.

What is mindfulness?

It’s the state that you achieve when you allow yourself to live in the present. Simply, mindfulness is living in the present and now allowing anxiety, depression, general sadness, and whatever weighs you down to not burden your brain.

Know thyself

Before you begin to address any issues with anxiety, depression, and general mental wellness, ensure that you or your loved one has been eating well, sleeping well, and engaging in some sort of physical or social activity. Checking those boxes of physical health might help in mindfulness and meditation. In general, they’re good practices for being a human.

Check yourself

If your anxious tendencies, depression, and stress are affecting your relationships with your children or family, it may be a good idea to understand that people, children especially, can empathize with your stress and adopt it as their own.

Try meditating

For starters, meditation is a tried and true method for increasing mindfulness. An excellent place to start is using a guided meditation, which you can easily find on YouTube, or through the app Headspace. If used over a period of time, it has been known to reduce anxious tendencies and help individuals develop self-soothing tactics.

If you want to try one of the most historically proven forms of meditation, all you have to do is merely sit crisscross applesauce, if you like. Close your eyes. Allow your body to breathe and function. Allow your mind to race and wander, but do not pay attention to any of the thoughts that present themselves. Give yourself the moment and the time for those thoughts to present themselves, but do not allow your mind to focus on them. Try to clear your mind. You may do this for any period that makes you feel comfortable.

Try journaling

One of the easiest ways to unpack emotions in an unfiltered manner is just taking a pen to paper or typing out issues. It can help you get out of your own head and step away from your emotions before they overcome you.

Keep track of it

If you are having persisting anxiety, depression, or sadness, keep a calendar of how your days are going. Write down what you did, how you felt, and how much sleep, food, or exercise you got. Using a calendar to track your mindfulness will help you keep track of environmental triggers that might contribute to depression, anxiety, or general mental wellness.

In the middle of it all, just remember where you are

A proven coping technique is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique.


5 things you see

4 things you can feel or touch

3 things that you hear

2 things you can smell

1 thing you taste

State who you are, what you’re doing, and one good thing. This exercise can help center you in the midst of an anxious or stressful moment. The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is an excellent way of creating an easy and succinct way of self-soothing.

A final thought

Many of these suggestions are proven to be helpful for many individuals. That being said, everyone is different. Use these tips at your discretion. If your anxiety, depression, and general mental wellness are not improving, please consult a psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor.