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These tips have all been sent in by other parents, carers and professionals in the learning disability community. We hope they will give you plenty of ideas to try, but please remember Netbuddy is not responsible for the information provided or any of the activities suggested.
No-chew cuffsPut sweat bands over the cuffs of sleeves for people who chew.
I put fingerless gloves on my daughter. She hates the texture and it keeps her hands out of her mouth.
We thread Cheerios onto a strawberry lace. Works well for our chewer!
Plastic balloon weights make for great, bite-proof, non-toxic and cheap aids to chew on. We thread a couple onto a ribbon and use as a necklace.
Spicy ice cubes are very good for those who need lots of information in the mouth. Cinnamon and honey water frizzed in fun shape can do just that.
Squeeze your fingers
You can try to discourage biting or chewing by asking the person you are caring for to do something else instead, like "squeeze your fingers" or "put your hands on your lap"
Offer an alternative to chewing
For years, my daughter chewed her collars, dribbled and made holes in her clothes. School offered chewy alternatives, but I now think this exacerbated the problem.
In the school hols I said, "No chewing all holiday and you get the expensive toy you wanted." I also pointed out all the people on the street with clean collars. I suggested an alternative fidget such as tapping her fingers on the table, and it actually worked. It was during a low-anxiety period (holidays) however, so we have yet to see if it continues at school.
Stylish pendants for chewers
Do you support someone who has sensory issues and finds chewing a way of remaining calm. Check out the decorative chewi pendants at www.chewigem.co.uk
Sensory Direct have a chewy for sensory relief, that is also fun to fidget with. www.sensorydirect.com
This is a good tip if you are supporting someone who bites, chews or fidgets constantly, and you're tired of frayed, chewed-up clothes, bitten finger nails, toys, etc. Kid Companions Chewelry made in Canada is safe, bpa, phthalate, pvc, lead and latex free. Also stylish and discreet.
My son chews Zips, it was getting to be a problem replacing Zips on his jacket, his fleeces were looking terrible until I hit on the idea of painting all his zips with the stop nail biting polish. Not particularly nice, but it does the trick!
Chewing, fiddling & dribbling
If you supports someone who bites, chews, fiddles and dribbles, I've got a solution! Attach a towel flannel to a stretchy key ring by making a small cut in the centre of the flannel. Then attach to jeans or trousers. The corners of the flannel are great to bite on and chew, the flannel itself is great to wipe spit, and the key ring is endless fiddling! Everyday throw in wash.
My daughter used to do a lot of damage to her thumb as she has seizures and bites it whilst sucking. You can buy a thumb guard (Google it) on the internet that covers the thumb but still lets air around it so it can breath, it's held in place at the wrist and leaves fingers free.
My son has a lot of sensory issues and his mouth is his favourite place to examine anything. He chews his fingers, breaking the skin and picking at scabs. A diversion we've found helps is to give him a tough rubber toy. The school doesn't like it, but agree it is safer than harming himself.
John was in the habit of chewing his hands, to the point he would bite through his skin and make himself bleed. I needed padded gloves, that wouldn't come off and they had to be waterproof. Ski or bicycle gloves!! Perfect.
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