My son is nearly fifteen years old. He listens to or watches every Phillies game he can. He nags me constantly to take him to games. Baseball has been a wonderful experience for both of us to share over the years.
Long-time readers of this site also know that my son was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder early in elementary school. Part of the of conditions that he lives with is an increased sensitivity toward powerful sensory stimuli that other kids may be more able to "roll" with. Loud sounds in particular were a major problem for us when we attended Phillies games early on.
Going to games with younger children can be challenging as it is, but layering a sensory disorder on top of it made it a challenge for us. It wasn't just sound -- lots of people and pushing and crowding, heat, sun, and rain were tough to deal with, too. All the things that make any kid uncomfortable were issues for us, but only moreso. Imagine a sensory sensitivity as amplifying those things. We worked out strategies, though, because we're problem solvers and, dammit, because baseball is**worth suffering for**:
- Get there early to avoid the crowds (less of a problem now than in, say, 2010).
- Take along hearing protection ear muffs to wear if the volume was too loud on the stadium speakers.
- Sit in locations where there is less traffic to and from seats.
- Try to get an aisle seat so nobody is banging up against the kiddo. We even bought extra seats sometimes for buffer space, and also because my son could be a wiggler.
- Sit in a section and in specific seats in a section where there was less speaker exposure.
- Find seating where there is cover from the elements as well as temporary respite from smelly people (including one time, memorably, when a loud talker from the Lehigh Valley exuded an overwhelming odor of cologne -- ye gods!).