Thursday, January 21, 2010

Need your input and suggestions

Okay, I'm stumped
Shane has started chewing on his arm, and his shirt-- he is (demanding) asking to chew on things--
  • do I go buy a baby chew toy for him?
  • do I buy one from a catalogue that is more spendy but --is the true "tool"?(I kinda want to also invest in a compression shirt that I have found--) the catalogue is called Fun and Function
  • do I let the "tool" be used at school and home? (I know that school will not allow gum, which is what we are using today, since I am broke until tomorrow)
  • Is this because he is growing -- ? he hasn't had a big growth spurt in a while...
  • Is this because he is not eating enough at mealtime?
  • Is this because he needs some more OT training?

I know that chewing is a sensory thing... but because Shane only just started doing this... could it be a stress reliever? or an attention thing?

Most of Shane's day was okay-- he even did a decent job with the substitute,

But, then he got another Level 3 today... He had earned some free time to play with something, but even with a warning he didn't want to stop-- he became defiant and he ended up yelling at staff-- so he received the level 3 --- :( At least he didn't hit anyone... and his consequences are loosing recess...

My dear husband, Jerry ~ is sleeping during the day-- because he is working nights--he is also coming down with a cold and so he is whiny, :(normally when he gets like this I just try to get him what he needs and leave him alone-- I hope that I can have extra patience with him--

Jessica gets to go snowshoeing with Aunt Danni and some of the women from church-- to say that Jessica is excited is an UNDERSTATEMENT....

However, I am starting to feel more like a referee than a mom... where is my whistle?


Bethany said...

This could be a way of dealing with stress, or a new way of seeking sensory input that he had previously sought in other ways. Lots of kids chew on their shirts, especially when stressed or concentrating. I would not buy a baby chew toy because it is not developmentally appropriate and can send confusing messages. There are things you can get that attach to the top of pencils that he can chew while working in school and there are chewy bracelets and things like that which are not as noticeable and can save on clothing damages. Also, is he getting any of his older year molars in by any chance?
How are they handling transitions for him at school? Does he have a visual schedule, a first/then cue card, and does he get time warnings prior to having to transition from a highly preferred activity to a less desired activity? Do they actually teach him coping skills and offer him activities he can do to calm himself down like sit in a quiet area, squeeze a stress ball, etc? Is losing recess really a good punishment when he seems to need sensory input and to have that time to move and use energy? Have they tried using a visual token system with him to earn his rewards? I know, a lot of questions! Also, did his chewing start after any specific change in the environment - his dad changing work hours, a change in his routine, etc.?

Anonymous said...

Interesting Stace! Yes, I agree with Bethany. Shane may be teething as he is the right age for those molars and he may just be responding to that. Though I have known lots of kids to chew on their shirts and even their arms. Somehow you need to get him to not chew on himself I imagine and to determine if it is stress related or not too. I would not get him anything to chew on that would encourage him to be "different" than the other kids either so something discreet might work but I know kids can develop habits that even something like that to chew on might not help with. Though I know alot of kids chew on their pencils and the idea of something on the end of it might just work. Hopefully he won't chew on the pencil itself. Just because you get him something to chew on doesn't mean he will. Can't wait to hear how this one turns out. Love you Stace. Hope to see you soon. Me

Anonymous said...

Well, Bethany and Me about covered it. But I will reinforce that only you can decide how to manage this based on what you think is the cause or reason. Like I said my post "Run!" Or you could just start with the least expensive solution (like you did - gum) and go from there.

Hope Jerry feels better soon.