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myownbrandofcrazy
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25 Jun 2010, 5:49 pm

Hi. This is my first time posting here, my 4 year old daughter has been recently diagnosed as PDD-NOS but we are keeping an eye on her for the next couple of years as we suspect she may have Aspergers. Anyway, when she was a baby she licked everything, people, toys, food, windows, etc. We didn't think much about it because she was a baby (like 6 months until around 2 years old). She stopped for a while and about 6 months ago, while she was still 3, she started chewing on the collar of her shirts constantly. I got on to her every time I saw her doing it because she was ruining clothes. After a couple of months of constant reminders, she stopped chewing, but then she immediately started the licking again. She is licking all kinds of things again, but mostly it's her own fingers. She licks and licks them all day long. When I tell her not to, she stops for a minute, but twirls her hair while her hands aren't in her mouth.

Is this a typical autism/asperger's behavior or do you think it might be her age? If any of you have experience with this, does anyone have suggestions for stopping this behavior?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Laurie



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25 Jun 2010, 6:06 pm

My 4 yr old daughter chews her shirt collars when she is over tired or over stimulated. She also licks my face frequently, both as a show of play (like a puppy) and as a show of affection (she is starting to kiss, but prefers to lick)


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Mudboy
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25 Jun 2010, 6:18 pm

Lollipops? :P


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Angel_ryan
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25 Jun 2010, 9:43 pm

Chewing is totally a part of autism and other spectrum disorders. I have AS and chewed my shirts and my hair till I was 10. My little sister has been DXed with moderate Autism and her doctor showed us cool stuff to help with it. Like for instance Chewlery!! ! You can check it out at youtube /watch?v=H6vVcwA0BNw



azurecrayon
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25 Jun 2010, 10:37 pm

those things are typical autistic behaviors, they are stims or sensory seeking behaviors. most people will probably tell you to NOT try to get her to stop as stims often are for comfort or stress release. thats why they will often occur more when kids are tired or in stressful places. its a self soothing behavior. trying to stop it altogether can mean more stress for your child that she cant release.

you can try to provide alternatives for stims if really needed. for instance, if shes chewing shirts and ruining them, provide her with a chewy necklace. if shes twirling her hair and its causing her hair to fall or pull out, get some fidgets for her to keep her fingers busy. there are lots of places online where you can get sensory toys, just google autism sensory toy.

my 4 yr old aspie son has always been VERY oral, long before we knew he had autism we knew he was "different" and that included needing more oral stimulation than most kids. he always puts things in his mouth, and likes to lick or kiss hard smooth surfaces like poles or windows. he likes to lick wet cars when its raining, which made for a very interesting car shopping trip last month when it was storming out =P and i dont leave our front door open because its just not safe for the poor glass storm door, he'll stand there and lick the whole glass front.

your best bet is to learn to work with the behavior. its likely she cant really control it, it may be a compulsion rather than a chosen behavior. and as you have seen, reprimanding her didnt make it go away, it just changed to something else. i'd rather deal with the chewing myself, at least that you can provide an outlet for =) perhaps she will go back to the chewing if the outlet is available.



myownbrandofcrazy
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26 Jun 2010, 12:45 am

Thanks for your great responses. I was beginning to think that I shouldn't try and change it, I'd hate to see her change to something worse, like biting. I'll look into getting her some jewelry for school.



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26 Jun 2010, 1:01 am

Angel_ryan wrote:
I have AS and chewed my shirts and my hair till I was 10.


Ouch I never realized that was a sign, I did it too! I remember looking at how wet my shirt was in elementary school and thinking "eww gross" knowing full well that I did it.



angelbear
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26 Jun 2010, 2:43 pm

My 5 yr. old son chews on anything that is hard plastic. I have really tried to get him to stop, but I have decided that I will let him do it at home because I would rather him chew on stuff here than at school or other places. It really does drive me crazy. I let him chew on straws or plastic spoons when I can. I have also started to give him gum some now, but he usually ends up pulling it out of his mouth and stretching it and it gets everywhere.
One OT at his school recommended beef jerky or that candy Twizzlers.

As far as the licking, that really grosses me out. I am sorry but, I just can't stand to see him licking door knobs or bathtub faucets.... I do reprimand him for this. I give him lots of little dum dum lollipops and popsicles to satisfy this need. The problem with the lollipops is that he had about 7 cavities at the dentist, so be careful with this.

The one thing I have noticed is this seems to come and go in phases. Also, my son is going through a phase now of smelling everything. He is super sensitive to smell.

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2PreciousSouls
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27 Jun 2010, 6:11 am

PenguinMom wrote:
My 4 yr old daughter chews her shirt collars when she is over tired or over stimulated. She also licks my face frequently, both as a show of play (like a puppy) and as a show of affection (she is starting to kiss, but prefers to lick)


This is exactly what my son does :)

For DS it's an anxiety thing. To be honest, I just let him go! As long as it's just my face his licking and not some stranger. He saturates his shirt collar and sleeves from chewing on them at times.

I'm thinking of getting him a chew toy of some sort.

Good luck.



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27 Jun 2010, 7:36 am

Quote:
angelbear wrote:
My 5 yr. old son chews on anything that is hard plastic. One OT at his school recommended beef jerky or that candy Twizzlers.!

My daughter will chew mint leaves. I like that they're not sugary and, as a bonus, leave her with delightful breath.


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BrookeBC
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27 Jun 2010, 2:24 pm

Yep, my daughter chews and licks things. She also eats non-editables, sand, dirt, playdough but most of all cat food. Lots of oral sensory issues, I think it's quite common.



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27 Jun 2010, 8:48 pm

BrookeBC wrote:
Yep, my daughter chews and licks things. She also eats non-editables, sand, dirt, playdough but most of all cat food. Lots of oral sensory issues, I think it's quite common.
I liked dry dog food as a small boy.


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28 Jun 2010, 6:22 am

I used to chew my tongue, when I was a kid, when there wasn't any gum, around.


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28 Jun 2010, 12:09 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
I used to chew my tongue, when I was a kid, when there wasn't any gum, around.
I still do.


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DW_a_mom
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28 Jun 2010, 12:23 pm

Mudboy wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
I used to chew my tongue, when I was a kid, when there wasn't any gum, around.
I still do.


My son moved onto chewing his tongue as a more socially acceptable and easy to obtain item after going through all his shirts for quite a number of years. Straws are also good for him, but he doesn't always have a straw at school.


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