Re: Oral Stimulation
My son's "chewing" comes and goes. I remember it beginning about 4 (he's now 7). It can be anything - a mouth full of sand from the sandbox, ink pens, pensils, crayons, clothes, toys, and even recently (oh my god) AA batteries!
He chewed his shirt collars so much many of them have holes in the material. He's chewed the cuffs of a couple of long sleeve t-shirts. The pens and such are a fairly new habit. He loves to draw and is quite good at it, but he prefers ink pens rather than pencil or crayon. But I'll find him with ink all over himself and in his mouth where he's chewed the pen up!
So, as you can see I may not be the best person to make suggestions. But his OT had given him a little thing we like to call his "chewy". It was a piece of flexible rubber tubing about 6 inches long. On one end it had been attached to a keyring type of metal ring and that was attached to a springy plastic thing (it looks like an "old fashion" telephone cord) not long enough to get wrapped around the neck or anything. On the end of that was a plastic clip. We clipped it to his shirt and when we caught him chewing we would tell him to chew on his "chewy" or ask him "where's your chewy?". This really seemed to satisfy his oral stim need and curb the "bad" chewing.
Unfortunatly, the school he was in last year would not maintain the program. I will have to address it with his new teacher if the behavior does not improve after the summer. Last years teachers felt it was to similar to a pacifier and he would be teased in his mainstream class (I was never told by his Kindergarten teacher that anything like that ever happened). So it was usually in his backpack by the time he came home.
I'm not sure, but she might have gotten in from an OT catalog, or you could probably make something yourself with stuff from a craft store and hardware store.
PS: His dentist says his teeth are FANTASTIC!