Scroll down for more info on misophonia in children.

For parents

Downloadable Information Sheet: Misophonia in Children

Download the pdf, complete the sections relevant to your child, hand to your teacher.

For teachers

If a parent has given you an information sheet, please enter its code here and click submit.

This code is at the bottom of the information sheet; it is anonymous and unique to each parent. Entering this code auto-emails the parent (if they have requested this from us) letting them know you have kindly read this webpage for teachers.

What is misophonia? 
Misophonia is a sound sensitivity that can cause profound distress. For people with misophonia, sounds like chewing, sniffing, and breathing can cause intense feelings of anger, anxiety, fear or disgust. You can find out more about misophonia below and by watching more of the video from our colleague Natasha Daniels at AT Parenting Survival (see fuller version of this video see here). You can also read our FAQs about misophonia, or learn more from the NHS website (UK National Health Service)

How might you recognise a child with misophonia?
There are several signs to look out for. Does the child complain about the noises other people make? Do they show annoyance towards classmates, siblings, parents, grand-parents, or friends in response to noises? Do they choose to sit apart from other children at lunch (but not other times)? Have they uncharacteristically hurt or hit another child because of the sounds they were making? Have they sometimes fled from the room without you understanding why? Does the child block his or her ears in response to noises? Are these sounds not particularly loud? Avoiding loud sounds may be hyperacusis (pain from noise, or fullness-in-the-ears) while avoiding sounds that seem mundane might be misophonia (click here for a list of misophonia trigger-sounds). 

Why might parents want teachers to know about misophonia? 
Misophonia affects between 9-20% of the population in varying degrees, with some people very badly affected. We don't yet know at what age it emerges, but it has been found in children and certainly in adolescents. This means there may be children with misophonia in your classroom, and you are certain to experience a child with misophonia across your teaching career. 

How can I support a child with misophonia in exams?
In the UK, The Joint Council for Qualifications have updated their guidance to include misophonia as a reason for requiring special accomodation during exams. Children with misophonia who struggle with noises in exam rooms may be able to request to sit examinations in an alternative room (away from the main exam hall). Importantly, it is a stipulation of the guidance that the alternative room arrangement also needs to minimise misophonic trigger sounds too. You can see the passage relating to misophonia below, and read the full guidance here: JCQ reasonable adjustments where page 70 of the latest guidance relates to misophonia. 
If you are based in the US, you might be able to request a 504 plan for misophonia to acccommodate your child in school. SoQuiet a US-based organisation has more information about this on their website
What can I do if my own child (or a child in my class) has misophonia?
There is information on how to seek professional help on our clinician page. There are also things you can do at home. Sounds that trigger misophonia often seems fairly mundane to other people, meaning misophonia can sometimes be a lonely experience. Understanding misophonia means understanding it is not the child's fault. Brain scanning shows that people with misophonia have more connections in parts of the brain that relate to fear and anger. This means that noises can cause extreme emotions such as rage or anxiety, in a way the child cannot help. Children with misophonia are often told they are over-reacting, and this can be unsettling. So your understanding is key. 

Allow the child to move away from the noise, or remove from the environment any unnecessary stimulus causing the discomfort (e.g., is the blind tapping against the window frame?). Allow time in a quiet environment to defuse the discomfort if needed. Allow the child to sit apart from another child in particular, since misophonia can relate to the sounds made by a particular person. Try to be understanding. This small act is extremely powerful for self-esteem and overall well-being. The video above shows a more coping strategies for children with misophonia.

Parents can help children with misophonia realise they are not alone. The prevalence of misophonia is 9-20% so there will be other children with misophonia in their school. There are also a number of misophonia web communities, examples of which we list here. We recommend that websites are always explored first by parents rather than children, following the usual internet safety standards.

I am a parent, how can I inform my child's school about misophonia?
Many parents want teachers to know that misophonia exists and it may be having a negative effect on their child. So we provide above a downloadable information sheet for parents to give to teachers, giving information about childhood misophonia and a link for teachers to this online resource.

I am a teacher, what else can I do?
We recommend teachers read this brief NHS webpage about misophonia and its related conditions. If you are a teacher and a child tells you they have misophonia please share this with the child's parent/guardian. If you are a teacher who has been given our downloadable information sheet by a parent, but have not yet entered your unique anonymous reference code , please enter it above. (This lets the parent to know that you have been able to find time to read our information webpage). Thank you for working with parents to support children with misophonia.