Hand chewing or chewing on clothes is a common concern seen in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and many other disabilities It is usually triggered from frustration, stress or excitement. Hand chewing makes oral hygiene more difficult so here are some great tips on how you can work with your client to stop these habits.
A possible solution is chewable jewelry, pen tops, and tubes (available on websites that offer special needs products).
Something else to try to prevent hand chewing and clothes chewing is oral stimulation. If your client has the ability to follow directions, teach him or her some of these exercises which will provide stimulation to the mouth and may decrease the need for the child to chew.
- Use a straw to drink liquids
- Fill the mouth with air
- Make funny faces with the mouth in front of a mirror
- Blow bubbles
- Make sounds with your mouth