He won't keep his fingers out of his mouth - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 12-21-2009, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 7 (ASD, sensory issues, Immune Deficiency).
The past month or so, he's been putting his fingers in his mouth. Like sucking on a thumb, only not actually sucking.

I CAN'T have him putting his fingers in his mouth due to his immune deficiency (he gets sick very easily and severely.)

He won't put other things in his mouth (sensory related toys to try to deal with this sort of thing.)

I need to find a way to get him to stop doing this. (I will not put anything nasty tasting on his fingers so that is out of the question.)

Any other suggestions?

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#2 of 13 Old 12-21-2009, 12:05 PM
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Oh yeah, I have a 6 year old with the same issue. He's always sick and he doesn't even have an immune problem so I can imagine how it is for your son!! My son would not suck on anything else besides his fingers till I put on one of those rope sailor bracelets you can buy at the beach. I told him to stick that in his mouth instead which is not exactly sanitary either but I was more worried about social stigma than germs. He did use it and I would wash it pretty much every day. One day he lost it and honestly has not sucked his fingers as much since then. I don't know why that worked for him but it did. He still sucks sometimes but it is not constant like it was. The plastic and rubber textures didn't work for him (which is what most sensory products seem to be made oF) but the rope texture did. It may be a matter of finding something with the right texture for your son.

The other suggestion is that you could ask your son's dentist about an appliance. I have an older NT son who for whatever reason sucked his fingers at night even at age 8 and it was affecting his teeth. The dentist put in this appliance that kind of hangs down from the roof of his mouth and from the moment that was put in, he has not sucked his fingers. You do have to wait till certain adult teeth are in so your son may be a bit young. Also, it was approved for my son b/c of what it was doing to his teeth but an immune problem may qualify too.

I know it is frustrating!! I tried EVERYTHING and I still have to remind my 6 year old all the time.
Good luck!
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#3 of 13 Old 12-21-2009, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son wont even sit still for a cleaning so the dentist thing is out of the question.

I've tried asking him why he does it and he just told me "I'm just polishing it."

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#4 of 13 Old 12-21-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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I sympathize. My son has low SiGa and right now he's carrying 6 parasites and 3 opportunistic bacterias because he puts his hands in his mouth all the time. I'm sick about it. So far I have no good solutions.
He's wearing thin cotton gloves at home hoping to break the habit. I thought gum might work but I think it was worse.

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#5 of 13 Old 12-21-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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Maybe giving him something to suck/chew on that's a safer alternative? Have you considered IVIG/SCIG to keep him from getting so sick all the time if his immune system is crap? We love it and would fight tooth and nail if someone dared to take her off of it.

Seriously?
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#6 of 13 Old 12-21-2009, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Satori View Post
Maybe giving him something to suck/chew on that's a safer alternative? Have you considered IVIG/SCIG to keep him from getting so sick all the time if his immune system is crap? We love it and would fight tooth and nail if someone dared to take her off of it.
I don't know why the doc hasn't suggested it. Well, he did say he wants to wait to see if he improves on his own.
I did end up taking him out of public school and am now homeschooling and it has made a HUGE difference so far (as far as illness goes).

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#7 of 13 Old 12-21-2009, 06:51 PM
 
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My kids need extra zinc when they mouth things, but I've found that the amount of zinc DD needs is really high, she's 50 lbs and I'm giving her about 50 mg per day, divided into several doses.
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#8 of 13 Old 12-21-2009, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son won't take supplements. (not even mixed with food/drink)

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#9 of 13 Old 12-22-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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For us, hands in mouth means a bacterial infection. It can be difficult to find. You might consider some stool testing to see if it's there and then antibiotics should resolve it.

I am a little surprised your doctor is going with the wait and see on the immune deficiency - it's not really something that tends to get better on it's own (we deal with it too).
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#10 of 13 Old 12-22-2009, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by FuzzyOne View Post
I am a little surprised your doctor is going with the wait and see on the immune deficiency - it's not really something that tends to get better on it's own (we deal with it too).
We saw two different Allergy & Immunology docs at Childrens Hospital and they both said many kids outgrow it.
Plus, I had the same thing when I was a child and I grew out of it (I get tested every few years.)

So, I know it's possible. But who knows if/when it will happen.
But, that's a whole other thread.

Right now, I just want to focus on the fingers issue.

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#11 of 13 Old 12-22-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaughterOfKali View Post
I don't know why the doc hasn't suggested it. Well, he did say he wants to wait to see if he improves on his own.
I did end up taking him out of public school and am now homeschooling and it has made a HUGE difference so far (as far as illness goes).
I would push for testing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaughterOfKali View Post
My son won't take supplements. (not even mixed with food/drink)
You can get decent tasting ones in liquid or even gummy form


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaughterOfKali View Post
We saw two different Allergy & Immunology docs at Childrens Hospital and they both said many kids outgrow it.
Plus, I had the same thing when I was a child and I grew out of it (I get tested every few years.)

So, I know it's possible. But who knows if/when it will happen.
But, that's a whole other thread.

Right now, I just want to focus on the fingers issue.
You don't want allergy and immunology, you want straight immunology or infectious diseases. There is a big gap between them and an A&I. If your going to outgrow it it usually happens by age 5. Its normal to retest every 3 years once on IVIG to see if they have outgrown it but its rare that its outgrown. If nothing else you can try it and then when its time to cycle off you can find out then. Why suffer in misery and cause organ damage? PID used to have a very high death rate but thanks to early detection our kids are now living normal lives, well, near normal anyway.

Seriously?
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#12 of 13 Old 12-22-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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Hi-

I'm new around here, but had a couple of ideas. We are dealing with some sensory issues with our son, and the mouthing issue has been pretty significant these days due to some stress (birthdays, holidays, etc.) Are you receiving OT for oral motor therapy?

A great help for us-- GUM! So simple but works so well for us. We've also found an electric toothbrush helpful.

Best of luck!!
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#13 of 13 Old 12-22-2009, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
I would push for testing.
You can get decent tasting ones in liquid or even gummy form
You don't want allergy and immunology, you want straight immunology or infectious diseases.
What sort of testing? He's already had SO much testing. Not sure what is left.
He won't take 'decent' or even yummy tasting supplements. He has feeding/eating issues (he's been in feeding therapy). Trust me, I've tried product after product.

He goes to an Immunologist... They are just on the same floor/area that the allergists are on. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

Ok, I'm REALLY not supposed to be chatting about his immune stuff on this thread. Just ideas for keeping his fingers out of his mouth.
So feel free to pm me about the immune stuff, if you wish.

Thanks for the suggestions so far!

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