Autism and Chewing

Children on Autism Spectrum have a common habit of chewing objects. They chew because they like the sensation and stimuli they get from this behavior. The objects could be clothes, pencils, toys or anything that they can get their hands on easily. This is a form of "Stimming" which is short for self-stimulatory behavior. Sometimes their stimming tends to be more extreme and frequent that hinders their ability to interact with other people and participate in ordinary activities.

Autism and Chewing

Different forms of Stimming

Chewing non-edible objects are one of the manageable forms of stimming. Other stimming forms could be:-

  • Drumming the fingers
  • Nail biting
  • Hand flapping
  • Hair twirling
  • Foot tapping
  • Spinning in circles when standing
  • Walking on the tips of the toes, and many more

These are often done to relieve nervousness, fear and sensory overload that allow the child to handle situations they find difficult or stressful. Many parents are concerned with the constant chewing of their child because it tears up clothing and other objects, and chewing certain objects brings the risk of choking hazards and many other health problems.

How to Stop Children from Chewing Non-Edible Objects?

Parents can modify the chewing and biting habits of their child. To begin with, chewy vegetable like carrot can be given to them as a replacement for chewing non-edible objects. Specially designed and medically approved products can also be given to them. Like Chew Pack Oral Motor Therapy Kit, it provides the same sensation and is extremely durable. It is created to help children who crave chewing as well as for children with oral stimulation autism.

Autism and Chewing Autism and Chewing Autism and Chewing
Chew Pack Oral Motor Therapy Kit
 
Holdster Chew And Hand Fidget Sash And Belt Oral Motor Chew Sets
 

Along with chewy toys for kids with autism, encourage the child to participate in activities other than chewing like swinging, and while the child is in the activity, let him know that he cannot chew his toy or any other object. And that he can chew it after he has finished his activity. Parents can gradually increase the time that child spends without chewing. With time when the child’s chewing decrease, you will need to teach your child that they can engage in chewing, but not in public. Allow your child to go to the bathroom and use chewing objects for a few minutes every hour or so and slowly decrease this time. You can also encourage the child to use other oral stimulation techniques that are socially acceptable like drinking cold water and eating chewing gum etc.


Finding discreet chew toys might be necessary, as the child grows older. You can browse and buy chews online at autismenabled.com. Hope these ideas will help you to control chewing in your child. If chewing still persists, we suggest you to consult with child’s health care specialist.