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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my son bites his hand. A LOT. It is frustrating for everyone involved. We are investigating the root causes but in the meantime, we've been trying without luck to find an object that he could chew instead.<br><br>
We have tried the coiled chewy bracelets and the chewy tubes. He dislikes both with a passion. We did find one object that he liked to chew but it was unsafe.<br><br>
The common denominator I've noticed between his hand and the unsafe object is that they are both quite soft and pliable.<br><br>
Anyone have any good ideas for an item that he could chew that would be soft and yet safe? It needs to be small enough to fit in his hand and his pocket (we're trying to avoid having him stand out too much for various reasons). If you give the area around the base of your thumb a squeeze, that is the texture and pliability that I need.<br><br>
Thanks so much!<br><br>
Martha
 

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One of my DDs was a 'base of the thumb' biter. She did it in anxiety, for comfort, and to fullfill her need to chew. She never broke skin, but it often had teeth marks and was red.<br><br>
The PT/OT put a thumb splint on her to prevent damage & change the texture...she did not like to chew on it, but them transfered her 'chewy' needs to non-edible things.<br><br>
We have had the most success with a chewy tube (soft/pliant) from <a href="http://www.abilitations.com" target="_blank">www.abilitations.com</a> . She kept in on a lanyard, but it would fit in a pocket. She liked <a href="http://catalogs.schoolspecialty.com/2533_abilitations/full.asp?page=252" target="_blank">THESE TWO</a>. She used the red 'T' shape at school (soft and has a slight 'give' feel to it since it is hollow) and the purple GRABBER at home (we had several strategically kept around the house)- it is harder.<br><br>
Good luck! We have bite marks on soooo many things in our house- it makes me laugh to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KCMichigan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14719516"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One of my DDs was a 'base of the thumb' biter. She did it in anxiety, for comfort, and to fullfill her need to chew. She never broke skin, but it often had teeth marks and was red.<br><br>
The PT/OT put a thumb splint on her to prevent damage & change the texture...she did not like to chew on it, but them transfered her 'chewy' needs to non-edible things.<br><br>
We have had the most success with a chewy tube (soft/pliant) from <a href="http://www.abilitations.com" target="_blank">www.abilitations.com</a> . She kept in on a lanyard, but it would fit in a pocket. She liked <a href="http://catalogs.schoolspecialty.com/2533_abilitations/full.asp?page=252" target="_blank">THESE TWO</a>. She used the red 'T' shape at school (soft and has a slight 'give' feel to it since it is hollow) and the purple GRABBER at home (we had several strategically kept around the house)- it is harder.<br><br>
Good luck! We have bite marks on soooo many things in our house- it makes me laugh to think about.</div>
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My DS does it for anxiety too. Also, we believe he uses it to regulate himself. My fear is that if we stop him from chewing his hand without replacing it with something that he will start chewing something worse (like other children!)<br><br>
Would you say the chewy tube from that link is as soft as the base of the thumb? It looks soft from the picture but it's hard to tell. We have tried other tubes and they were quite hard.<br><br>
I wish the tube was half the size. We are really trying hard to find something that won't make him stand out too much. He's already starting to get a bit of a "weirdo" rep and I know that really hurts him so we're trying to avoid that.<br><br>
Thanks so much!<br><br>
Martha
 

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How old is your DS?<br><br>
DD is 4 so she simply wears it on a lanyard at PreK. So far no problems and it beats her chewing on her thumb/classroom objects.<br><br>
If he is older---<a href="http://catalogs.schoolspecialty.com/2533_abilitations/full.asp?page=312" target="_blank">THIS PENCIL topper</a> may be more socially appropriate and discrete. They are soft and pliable, while still will hold up under serious chewing.<br><br>
Our OT also suggests chewing gum when our DD is older- the cheaper the gum, the softer the feel...I sense a lot of sugar free bubblicious in our future!!
 

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KC~ Thank you!!! The pencil topper is *exactly* what I've been looking for for my 7 yo ds. He chews (for self-regulation) & oh my! his shirts all look like a jackal got to them (lol). We homeschool and he chews all the erasers off and into the metal on the pencils (& breaks them in half by pushing too hard) about 5-7 every day!! We have tried mechanical which has helped for the pencil body not breaking, but not for the eating and all the leads are trashed.<br><br>
Anyway, I have been looking for a chewy, too, that doesn't have my son "stand out" as the OP said. Have been following the diff chewy threads on the SN boards, too. So this looks like a good fit (& cost)!<br><br>
If anyone knows of a good durable pencil that won't snap, I would love to know, but hopefully not too thick as I want to get those pencil toppers so he can chew it.<br><br>
I don't know whether to start another thread (don't want to hijack this one), but it's related... my son can't chew gum because he literally can't chew gum and focus on his studies at the same time (he's SPD, LD, ADHD). His LD is really magnified when he's chewing gum... anyone had the same prob & how to solve? (the gum helped with the nervous/ADHD fidgety part, though).
 

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I have one child with a real need to chew. We give her pieces of oxygen tubing. It is clear, so not as obvious. I was told to tie knots in it, but she likes the soft parts in between the knots to chew on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KCMichigan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14719880"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">How old is your DS?<br><br>
DD is 4 so she simply wears it on a lanyard at PreK. So far no problems and it beats her chewing on her thumb/classroom objects.<br><br>
If he is older---<a href="http://catalogs.schoolspecialty.com/2533_abilitations/full.asp?page=312" target="_blank">THIS PENCIL topper</a> may be more socially appropriate and discrete. They are soft and pliable, while still will hold up under serious chewing.<br><br>
Our OT also suggests chewing gum when our DD is older- the cheaper the gum, the softer the feel...I sense a lot of sugar free bubblicious in our future!!</div>
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He's 5.5 and in Sr Kindergarten. We haven't done a lanyard type thing because we worry about strangulation (not in a general sense - I'm sure it is fine for most kids - he's just more prone to accidents). Also, we find that the action of putting his hand to his mouth is part of the need which is why something that can fit in his hand is perfect. It really needs to be something that can closely replicate biting his hand at the moment.<br><br>
They don't do a whole lot of seat work and he can't really write so I don't think the pencil topper would work in that manner but I'm wondering if it might be something he could keep in his pocket. I'm going to look at it closer to see if that's a possibility.<br><br>
Unfortunately he refuses to chew gum. I use it myself as a regulator but he can't get over his fear of it yet (and to be frank, I don't trust him not to swallow it yet).<br><br>
mamajewel - what if you use the gum to help him calm down and focus before doing an activity and then spit it out when he needs to start the activity? I know what you mean about not being able to focus at the same time as chewing (sounds like a lame joke but it's true). It calms me down but if I need to focus, sometimes I need to get rid of the gum.<br><br>
Liba613 - how do you find the oxygen tubing stands up to the chewing? I potentially have access to some and could try it out. IV tubing would probably be too easily chewed through I'm thinking (I know for sure I would have easy access to that).<br><br>
Thanks for the ideas mamas! If anyone else has anything else, please let me know!<br><br>
Martha
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kittynurse</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14722641"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Liba613 - how do you find the oxygen tubing stands up to the chewing? I potentially have access to some and could try it out. IV tubing would probably be too easily chewed through I'm thinking (I know for sure I would have easy access to that).</div>
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The oxygen tubing has stood up very well actually. The best part is, it is cheap and easily replaced if it gets holes. You can get 50' of it for less than $10 including shipping off of ebay right now and we use 8" or less for a chewy. Even if you don't have free access it is cheap enough to replace often!<br><br>
I don't have IV tubing handy at the moment to check, but if you have it and want to give it a try it may work. I think that the oxygen tubing would hold up better though.
 

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THe pencil topper looks just like a piece of oxygen or aquarium tubing. Some of my former students love the aquarium tubing - their parents can buy it by the foot from a fish or pet supply store and it's really inexpensive. Then you can cut it to the length you need.
 

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Hello,<br><br>
I have a 7yr old that has been chewing chewing... since birth. I appreciate your frustrations. I looked everywhere and after toddlerhood, finding something suitable was harder. I managed to make one called Kid Companion.<br><br>
Each child is different, of course, and my daughter needed something pliable, safe to chew and effective in school and at play. I wanted something that she could deflect some of her ocd behaviour, thus a "worry stone" dip and something that had different textures to use as a fidget. It had to be a safe size, non-toxic and not too childish... It actually took about 3 years to perfect. Hopefully we can design new shapes eventually. For more information feel free to contact me.<br><br>
In terms of safety, I am concerned about some items used for special needs children. PVC is widely used in tubing, even medical tubing. This usually contains phthalates including BPA. I would always ask. In fact, asking for a CPSIA certificate of conformity is something you should do. For chewable jewelry, I know that Teething Bling and Kid Companion have certificates online. I also know that some chewies probably could not get certificates. I hope that special needs toys/care items will get a crack down like infant items have had recently. Our special needs children are at risk, are precious and deserve our protection from toxic elements in toys, tools and care items. NEVER go for dollar store fidgets or chewies.<br><br>
Rules of thumb for plastics: The following materials are usually free of phthalates and of lead.<br>
**PP -Polypropelene, FDA and USP class VI<br>
**TPE - Thermoplastic Elastomers, "<br>
**Silicone -FDA and/or USP class VI<br>
there are others, PO, PE... look them up and ask.<br><br>
AVOID PVC, sometimes just called pliable plastic, clear tubing...<br>
AVOID enamel as there's a higher risk of lead.<br>
AVOID painted parts " " "<br>
AVOID metal parts unless marked lead free, nickle free... "silver tone" is bad and so is "gold tone" or "plated"<br>
BUY pencils made in Canada or USA as you'll have less risk of lead in the metal and paint.<br><br>
All our childrenn are worth the extra time it takes to check on what they put in their mouths. Special needs children already have enough to deal with that double checking is necessary. Even if a toy or an item is listed in OT or online stores, take a good look and do a little research before you buy.<br><br>
I hope this helps a bit. I can answer quite a bit of plastics relates questions, CPSIA certifictation and ASTM toy safety standard questions too. If I can't I may be able to point you to the right place.<br><br>
Pierrette d'Entremont<br>
Pida Infant & Maternity Products Ltd.
 
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