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Lately I feel like we take two steps forward and one or more steps back sensory wise with our son Tristan. My recent pregnancy was hard on me physically. Mentally and emotionally drained I became a reactive parent, rather than one who responds with firm calmness. Tristan began to bite his nails which is not the first time, but this time the behavior became a habit. With a new baby sister, the holidays disrupting his therapy schedule and new people in the house, it threw Tristan completely off track. Tristan relies on a schedule and without one he is a mess and regression does occur. Tristan’s sensory regression includes not only nail-biting, but also mouthing every object he comes in contact with. Time outs, pushing his hands do not deter him, not even earning stickers or other fun rewards like bubbles help.
I discussed the mouthing issue with Tristan’s occupational therapist and she suggested I get him some clear plastic tubing at Amazon or a building supply store, and make necklaces for him to chew on. Ensure the tubing is food grade. The next day my husband came home with several feet of the clear plastic tubing and Tristan took right to it, chewing the tubing even before we were able to cut it into smaller pieces. The plastic tubing can be thrown in your dishwasher, it is soft enough it will not hurt your child’s mouth, and is safe. Within a couple of days my son stopped chewing and mouthing everything under the sun in our home. The nail-biting still happens, but has subsided. If I see Tristan chewing on a toy or his hands I tell him to chew on his tubes. He sleeps with them, wears and plays with the tubing like a special toy.
This inexpensive chewable tubing for oral fixation helps tremendously with my son’s sensory mouthing issues. If you have more questions or suggestions on how you have helped your child with chewing sensory issues please comment on the blog below .