Saturday, April 11, 2015
How to help kids who chew
Lots of kids chew as a developmentally appropriate way of exploring their environment, but what can you do when it's more than that?
1. Try to figure out why they are chewing. Is it a new way to explore their environment? Are they seeking out deep pressure input in their jaw? Are they missing nutrients? What is the motivation for chewing!
2. Provide increased opportunities for "heavy work" input to the whole body each day. Maybe the child is looking for that increased input and their mouth is how they've learned to address that. The whole body may be in need and help with the mouthing/chewing.
3. Provide opportunities for increased proprioceptive input to the mouth by eating crunchy and chewy foods or drinking through straws. This will allow your child to get the input they need without chewing on inappropriate non-food items.
4. Provide opportunities for increased proprioceptive input to the mouth through handheld, non-food items. No need for extra calories all day, when your child can blow bubbles or play a harmonica.
5. Provide opportunities for increased proprioceptive input to the mouth through wearable, chewable items. Have you heard of chewelry? It's chewable jewelry, including bracelets and necklaces that children can safely chew on.
For more information on each of these 5 tips, in addition to more great information on chewing, visit MamaOT here.
Shelly is enjoying her time off but is ready to start seeing kids again.