Chewing on shirt

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SocRocks, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. SocRocks

    SocRocks New Member

    Is it weird that difficult child 3 is always chewing on his shirt sleeve, to the point where it is really wet and nasty?
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Not at all. difficult child 1 did that for years. It is a sensory thing. After that he took to chewing on tiny pieces of things he found laying around. It took a lot of time for me to get him to seek gum instead. We even put it into his IEP that he's allowed to chew gum as long as he didn't smack it, blow bubbles, or put it anywhere but in his mouth or in the garbage. You might want to consider having difficult child 3 evaluated for Sensory issues by an Occupational Therapist.
  3. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    David, my Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) guy did that all through 2nd & 3rd grade, At the time they had the uniform thing going at his school. I have no clue how many buttons he has swallowed in his lifetime but he would chew the tips of the collars and the button areas and if he had long sleeves on them the sleeves were chewed. He still has tshirts that he had chewed on the small collar ring that I pieced back together for play clothes.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Chewing clothing - a huge issue. I refused to buy new clothes for a long time, I just bought op-shop stuff. If a shirt is going to get ruined on the first day of wearing, I'd rather it cost me 50c than $15.

    We tried gum, but had problems with the school. Also he would chew his clothes but with gum in his mouth, and that really made a mess! So I bought a teething ring for difficult child 3. At first he was embarrassed, he never took it to school anyway. But at home if/when he chewed his shirt, I would hang the teething ring around his neck and encourage him to chew that instead.

    He doesn't chew his clothes now, although he will still 'worry' at a hole and make it a lot bigger. But I noticed a few months ago, he had got his teething ring out and was chewing it while he did his schoolwork. He said it helped him stay focussed.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    thank you, my youngest, was a chewer of shirts. This is the FIRST year that he is NOT chewing on shirts. He just turned 12. He shows some Asperger's traits but only has a diagnosis of sensory integration disorder. The treatment of that when he was 5, which still continues, is what several people say has helped keep him from needing more supports, testing etc.....

    It is NASTY but they are unable to stop unless they have another option. they NEED that oral stimulation. With something to chew my thank you can do almost anything and with-o well, the kid can barely walk and breathe. It helps him block out other sensory stuff and is soothing to him. Instead of arguing over it, I bought his shirts at yard sales and thrift stores. This year he has gotten to pick some more expensive shirts and has been taking good care of them. Not sure what caused the change, don't really care, just happy it is here.

    Occupational Therapist (OT) supply places have other things for kids to chew on. A chewy necklace would work for thank you as long as he could remember what he did with it. I also was careful to not buy flame retardant clothing or things with any kind of screen print design near his face and wrists. I have no idea what those would do to a kid but they sure are not designed to be eaten.

    Scolding/punishing will only make this much worse as it is a way for them to handle stress. I strongly recommend that you have him evaluated for sensory issues by an Occupational Therapist (OT). Schools have these but they only look at how things impact his time at school. Private OTs look at how they impact all of his life and in my opinion and my experience they are FAR FAR more comprehensive.

    There are 2 awesome books you should read, both by Kranowitz. First is The Out of Sync Child which describes the sensory issues in detail and the second is The Out of Sync Child Has Fun. If money is tight get the first from the library or ask if school has a copy you can borrow (here parents can check books out as well as kids from the school library) and buy the Has Fun book. Why? Well, the Has Fun book has all kinds of activities to help provide the sensory stimulation your child is wanting. It has hints and tips to make that affordable and honestly, it is one of the most fun books we have ever had. The activities were ones that all my kids enjoyed, not just thank you.
  6. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    I wound up buying one of those things you hang around your neck with your ID on it or use for a on the tip of my tongue....dang...and attached a rubber baby teether to it. It helped ALOT.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Depending on the child's age, I would be hesitant about using baby things. Mostly because the whole bullying thing. thank you had the springy necklaces and the other kids thought they were cool. If we had put a teether on it, well, that would have gotten ugly. The necklaces are coils of food grade plastic and can take a beating. they also have other things to chew on.

    If gum isn't an option, you can also try other chewy foods like beef jerky. Sometimes those help.
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I have also gotten chewy things and other sensory stuff from

    difficult child 1 loves pretty much all of it so have the link saved to my Favorites. For me, it was worth it. They also have other stuff but the sensory stuff is the only thing I have ever gotten from there.