Oral Fixation?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Circetay, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    I was just wondering if anyone knows why kids do this?

    difficult child does this constantly with whatever is in her hands (toys, markers, wiimote etc). Lately it's been the neckline of her shirts and her sleeves. She chews on them to the point where they are soaked through? I often remind her to take stuff out of her mouth but it seems that she is totally unaware of what she's doing.

    I don't know any kids her age that do this??? Is there anything I can do to avoid it?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sounds like sensory issues. Very common with kids who are on the autism spectrum. I'd read about autistic spectrum disorder, high functioning, if your child often seems clueless or doesn't "get it." Anyway, my son used to suck on the neckline of his shirt until it was all wet and gross! Thankfully, he is seventeen now and those days are long behind him, but I still remember. :tongue:
  3. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Hi, thanks for the quick reply. What exactly are sensory issues? I thought that maybe it was more of a compulsion? The pediatrician is the one who can request a neuropsychologist I believe. It's our first step in getting a diagnosis. We've had no medical intervention at all yet. I'm anxious to get it done so that I can know better what I'm dealing with.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

  5. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    My difficult child bites on the shoulder area of his shirt until it is soaked. It doesn't happen that frequently anymore but when he does have a day where it is constant, he has to change his shirt a few times. However he didn't begin this trait until he began taking a stimulant . When he was your difficult child's age he used to SMELL EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING. While he was reading a book he would smell every page. He did the smelling thing for about a year. husband and I would try and redirect him and didn't make too big of a deal of it and no one else really seemed to notice and eventually he "outgrew" it. He didn't really put anything in his mouth and I can understand your concerns with germs, etc... Maybe just try and redirect her or give her a quiet reminder.
  6. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Thanks for the link, I will check it out. I figured it had something to do with soothing. I always just thought it was leftover from when she was a baby and had a pacifier. But at 5, it's just not normal???
  7. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi Circetay,

    Oral activities like you described can be organizing for your little girl's brain. My boys (per the Occupational Therapist (OT)) would suck on yogurt through a straw (had to dilute the yogurt just a bit), blow through a straw, blow bubbles, and other activities I can't remember. Here's a another link -- read down to the "hyposensitivities." Don't feel like you have to buy anothing -- there are lots of homemade activities to satisfy the need to suck, mouth and chew.


    Good luck -- HTH

  8. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Thanks for the info Jo, what would the need to organize through chewing mean? What would cause the need for that? Sorry, i'm new to all of this.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Chewing helped Miss KT concentrate, and most of her teachers would allow her to chew gum, if she was subtle about it. One year, her teacher flat out refused to allow the gum, so I got her a box of coffee stirrers to chew on during class. Seemed to work all right.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Both my girls chewed, mostly difficult child on her shirt sleeves. difficult child also smelled everything, EVERYTHING. But they both chew. I chew on pens and straws - a lot. I personally do not understand what the big deal is if it's not harming anyone. Mine also used to svck on their hair (gross). We wouldn't make a big deal out of it; instead we'd try to get them to stop by getting them involved in something else. I like the idea of redirecting - that's what we did with both girls and eventually they outgrew the need to chew everything. Now they may only chew pens while studying or working on something. Is this the only thing your little girl does?
  11. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Hi hearts&roses! Thanks for the reply. My daughter also sucks on her hair. I try to get her to stop because it makes it very hard to brush, and hair brushing is one of the things that can cause her to explode. I don't think it's a big deal really, but I don't want her walking around in school with the front of her shirt all wet from her sucking on it either.

    Is this the only thing she does in terms or sensory stuff or in general?
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Mine started with fingernail biting then starting chewing on her fingerpads, with mine it was anxiety.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sniffing is also sensory. Again, it is commonly seen in kids who have various forms of autism. They are the kids who have to suck, touch, or examine everything. It doesn't stop when they get older although some kids can learn that it's socially unacceptable and not do it in public. My son often talks to himself in his room. When I asked why he said, "There's nobody else to talk to, so I talk to me." Quirky kid. He has also said though, "I understand things better when I say them out loud."

    He is seventeen and will still touch everything if we don't let him say play his handheld game system to distract him. Another thing: he can smell things accurately rooms away. When nobody else can smell something, he sure can and it bothers him. He is smell sensitive. If I spray the room with air freshener he covers his nose.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Totally a sensory thing. thank you is getting better, but I still know when he is stressed because the neckline of his shirt will be soaked. I get his shirts at a thriftstore for fifty cents or so, and replace them every 4-6 weeks because the necklines get holes and don't regain their shape when washed after a while. Now that he is getting better i will start to give him more choices in shirts because they don't get ruined as often.

    Brushing therapy can help reduce this, but you MUST be taught it by an Occupational Therapist. If it is not done properly big problems can occur. BIG problems.

    I recommend reading "The Out of Sync Child" and "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun" by kranowitz. The "has fun" version is packed with activities to provide needed kinds of sensory input. ALL my kids like the activities - they are just fun, but can help provide the sensory input with-o shirt chewing and other sensory seeking behaviors. The first book describes Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and goes into great depth on the disorder and how brushing therapy works. It is a good resource, but if I could only purchase one of the books it would be the Has Fun one because it is more day-to-day useful.
  15. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Thanks for the book suggestions. I have added them to my ever growing list of books to read! I don't think i'll ever get to read fiction again!!! :)
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Sniffing fingers, smelling everything, svcking on hair and clothing, chewing pens, straws, etc., flicking hair (eventually diagnosed with tourettes due to other behaviors and factors), counting to the point of total distraction...everything having to be even or end on an even number when jumping or counting, etc. Oh and then so many more things when she moved out of early childhood.