Question: My child has the need to chew. What options are there for sending him to school with something to chew?
Answer: I think that it is very important to note that fulfilling this need helps calm and focus students.
For years, it has been proven that students focus better while sucking on a hard candy or lollipop.
Biting fulfills the proprioceptive sense in the jaw. There are many options to help oral sensory
seekers while in class such as:
- Chew Jewelry http://www.chewigemusa.com My children like the “chubes” that can be put on the strings of hooded sweatshirts or on the safety cord provided.
- Chewy Pencil Toppers http://www.therapyshoppe.com/category/P2775-chew-stixxchewy-pencil-toppers-sensory-oral-motor-tools
- Chewing gum (talk to the school staff about putting it into the IEP as a necessary sensory requirement)
- Water bottles that require the child to bite in order to release the water (or other fluid) from the bottle like the camelback brand http://shop.camelbak.com/bottles/waterbottles/everyday-use-outdoor/l/201 I find this helps keep my children hydrated as well as relive the sensory need.
- The white caps on pens (for older students). I recommend the BIC RoundStic Ballpoint brand because it is a soft enough plastic to chew compared to the Papermate brand that is too hard.
- For more information on keeping your child focused in school check out this article.