Many children chew and/or mouth inedible objects (ie: necklaces, toys, clothing). This behavior is especially common amongst children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as it is an effective way to self regulate. The oral sensory input provided can also promote attention to a task, relieve anxiety, reduce fear and combat sensory overload.
We advise parents not to treat “Stimming”, self stimulatory behaviors such as chewing, as maladaptive behaviors that must be stopped, but instead understand its helpful benefits to our loved ones with ASD.
Oral sensory activities can calm children with ASD, and can be an appropriate outlet while learning and performing other daily tasks.
Here are some examples of ways our BCBAs encourage safe and socially appropriate oral sensory activities:
-Drinking from a water bottle with a dense straw:
-Using resistive chewing on chew friendly items (these are a few items we use here at Spectrum):
To find other items on amazon that are chew friendly, simply search “sensory teether” to discover more options.
We hope you find the resources we use beneficial. Feel free to comment with any additional ideas or questions!