Sensory Chews: An Effective Aid for Kids with Autism and ADHD

One of the biggest challenges faced by children with autism and ADHD is their lack of sensory processing. Such children have difficulty organizing and regulating their sensory environment due to difficulties in receiving, interpreting, and responding to sensory information in a meaningful way. Sensory chews, also called chewable jewelry, can prove to be a fantastic tool to help such children calm down and focus. In this blog post, we will discuss how sensory chews help children and how to choose the right type for your child.

The benefits of sensory chews:

Sensory chews can be an effective tool to calm children, improve their focus, and decrease their stress and anxiety levels. When children become overstimulated, they may need a way to release their emotions and energy and engage in a repetitive and soothing activity. Sensory chews can help them do so by providing repetitive stimulation to their mouth and jaw and activating the calming parasympathetic nervous system. Chewing also helps with regulating children’s sensory input and encourages self-regulation and self-awareness.

Different types of sensory chews:

Sensory chews come in a variety of textures, shapes, and sizes. The most common types include silicone, rubber, plastic, and fabric. Silicone is the most popular due to its food-grade safety, durability, and accessibility. Rubber is a softer option that can be a better alternative for children with oral hypersensitivity or low muscle tone. Plastic and fabric chews are also available but can be less durable and pose choking hazards. It is important to check the safety and durability of the material before choosing a sensory chew.

How to choose the right sensory chew for your child:

To select the right sensory chew for your child, you need to consider their preferences, needs, and chewing level. Some children may prefer a particular texture or shape, while others may need a softer or harder chew. It is also crucial to ensure that the chew is appropriate for your child’s age, size, and chewing strength. A good rule of thumb is to choose a sensory chew that can withstand your child’s chewing force and last for an extended period. It is advised to consult a therapist or specialist to help you choose the most suitable sensory chew for your child.

How to introduce and use sensory chews:

When introducing a sensory chew to your child, it is important to start slowly and monitor their response. You may need to provide some guidance and supervision at first to ensure safety and effectiveness. Encourage your child to use the sensory chew regularly and build it into their daily routine. Sensory chews can be used in a variety of settings, such as at home, in school, or during therapy sessions, to support your child’s emotional, social, and academic needs.

How to care for sensory chews:

Sensory chews need regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure safety, hygiene, and longevity. Always check the manufacturer’s instruction for proper cleaning and storage. Most sensory chews can be cleaned with soap and water or a mild disinfectant. You can also consider purchasing a chewable necklace or bracelet to keep the chew clean and accessible. Always supervise your child while using a sensory chew to prevent choking or misuse.

Conclusion: Sensory chews can be a valuable tool to support children with autism and ADHD in their sensory regulation, self-awareness, and emotional wellbeing. By choosing the right sensory chew and introducing and using it correctly, you can help your child calm down and focus, improve their mood and behavior, and enhance their overall quality of life. Remember to consult with your child’s therapist or specialist to ensure the best results. Let sensory chews be a tool in your toolbox to help support your child’s unique needs.

Ivy

Ivy Skye Marshall: Ivy, a social justice reporter, covers human rights issues, social movements, and stories of community resilience.