Excessive chewing or fidgeting is sometimes an indication that your child with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) needs to MOVE! Unfortunately some youngsters with ADHD will chew or bite on anything within their reach because chewing IS movement. For hygiene and safety reasons, SAFE alternatives to pens, pencils, shirt sleeves and collars, electric cords, etc. have to be provided to satisfy this overwhelming need to chew, bite or/and fidget.
How can a student with ADHD be helped?
Besides being unsafe, these chewed-up, ruined items end up costing parents a lot of money. Then there is the question of discomfort, damage to teeth, and if nail biting is involved you have damaged, unsightly nails. Imagine coming home from school, chilled in the cold of winter from a chewed, soggy shirt.
What about bullying? Parents will go to any lengths to make sure their child does not get teased or bullied. Added to the unfavorable attention a child with ADHD usually gets from teachers and peers, his habit of chewing or biting inappropriate non-edibles will bring him more attention. How can a student with ADHD be helped?
Provide safe and discreet fidgets. Fidgets have particular properties that intrigue sensory systems. The premise is that children with special needs, with learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette’s syndrome, autism (ASD), anxiety disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), reduce their excessive movements (fidgeting) and increase their focus through the handling of a fidget. Busy the hands to calm the mind.
Kids, Tweens, and Teens with ADHD Focus Better by Using KidCompanions Chewelry or Fidgets
When a student with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has to sit still for long periods of time his body is crying out to move. One of the strong, big muscles that would use this pent up energy is the jaw joint. Allow and encourage respectful chewing and biting on a discreet, age appropriate oral-motor tool like KidCompanions Chewelry. The KidCompanions also can be used as hand fidgets. By busying the hands, the child with ADHD will be able to focus on the lesson being taught, the book being read, the lecture being heard.
Fidgeting is moving away from its old stigma and now it is considered an accepted coping mechanism to stay on task. Fidgeting facilitates focus for listening, talking and thinking. It is now accepted that excessive movement does NOT prevent learning but actually facilitates it. Studies show that adults who doodle during a phone conversation remember more details of the conversation than those who just listen!
If movements can help your child with ADHD to sharpen his memory, hone his organizational skills and calm him to interact favorably with his classmates, LET HIM CHEW and FIDGET! Add it to his IEP or have it written down as an accommodation your child needs to focus on his school work.
Having his own discreet chewy or fidget, always accessible, enables this child to go about his day. The student with ADHD knows that when he needs to move to focus, it will be around his neck, in his belt hoop or attached to his clothing. These children have enough worries in their lives that if a very simple tool, like a KidCompanions Chewelry, gives him relief, it should be allowed in class.
Chewable necklaces, like KidCompanions Chewelry, should never be called a toy for those who really need the benefits of chewing. A toy would have to be put away when the bell signals classes are to begin. On the contrary, peers and teachers should respect the needs of this child to chew,bite or fidget and the KidCompanions should be seen as natural to a class setting as pencils, crayons or eye glasses.
See Special Needs Book Review of an easy-to-use workbook written by Kerin Bellak-Adams entitled AD/HD Success! Solutions for Boosting Self-Esteem: The Diary Method for Ages 7-17.