My son (4 1/2) is now going through another stage where he puts everything into his mouth! Apparantly this is a normal stage for kids with PDD to go through. They crave oral stimulation - His speech therapist suggested giving him a straw to chew on.
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.
Hi, we too had the same problem with our daughter before we started ABA therapy and at the very beginning. What the therapist did was every time Hayley put something in her mouth the therapist gave her a baby teething ring to chew on in its place. Even once therapy was done we too gave Hayley the teething ring. Most times she would take it and within a few weeks she stopped putting things in her mouth. That was started when she was 3 1/2 and now she is 4 and never puts stuff in her mouth. Hope this helps.
My 8 year old son still puts things in his mouth including steel wool used for dishwashing. We too were given a "chewy" which he calls his "blue chew". It is simply a piece of rubber tubing which has been joined at both ends and can be worn around his neck. He also has a small piece of the same tubing attatched to the end of his pencils for use at school. He quietly chews this without drwaring attention to himself within the classroom. It's a good idea though to make sure the tubing used is not toxic.
My son is severly autistic and nonverbal. He mouths everything. we have tried different things over the years. while he still will mouth everything -I mean everything. We have cut down on the constant destroying shirts. by using a variety of items, special chewy's from OT. some which he loved vibrated when he chewed them. We had alot of luck with gum for a while ( some of those really strong flavors) till he started playing with them and getting them in his hair and chewing them right into his shirts. the biggest change in constant chewing shirts came this year when he learned the simple command "no mouth" Everytime his shirt drifted up to his mouth he was told no mouth and he would remove the shirt from his mouth.. he finally broke that habit. 2 stories that go along with mouthing. #1 his teeth are amazing and his dentist contributes it to the constant cleaning of his teeth they received from chewing his shirts? Also funny story-- Paul's best friend has autism but is the opposite of Paul in every way. Where Paul seeks lots of strong flavors and sensations like messy, very cold things his friend Mike screams if anything touches him as it is almost too painful. One day when they were around 3 years old, Paul's shirt chewing was driving me crazy he could chew through and ruin a shirt in 5 min. not to mention his shirts were always wet and his chin always raw. So I took Paul's shirt off and he was playing with Mike. Poor Mike sat down at the bottom of the stairs and little Paul sat next to him and reached over grabbing the bottom corner of Mike's shirt and started chewing. ( very happy) Mike started screaming. he tried to get away but Paul had a death grip on Mike's shirt. Mike's Mom and I were laughing so hard as tried to rescue Little Mike. Mike never came over to play with Paul again without making sure his shirt did not have a coller and he always kept it tucked in.
Last edited by off kilter; 08-06-2005 at 04:07 AM.
I'm finding this post a little unnervings as suddenly my typically developing 5 year old is licking everything. I see so easily pdd signs now that this was disturbing when she began doing it and now I'm reading about it. I just get so nervous when I see any sign in her even though I know that typical kids do things like this too. She has always been a very typical child but because she is not in school yet I still fear potential problems. I am having a crazy thought day because I know she is absolutely fine. It's just the kind of mood I'm in I guess.
We have the same experience with my two year and he goes through phases where it get worse. He is nonverbal and is just starting to play properly with toys, but most things go in his mouth. And he is always drooling and his chin is raw as well.
We tried teething rings, bottles, one or two toys designated to go in the mouth...We say no and redirect, but it hasn't seemed to help. This week we are going to try the chewy tube. We have choices in texture and flavour. They are obviously non toxic but are supposed to help cut down on his mouthing everything.
We have had the Chewy tube for 5 days now and he is accepting that only the chewy tube goes in his mouth. We are trying to train him that that is all that goes in his mouth so we can pin it to him somehow for when he starts preschool next month.