My 8 year-old has started mouthing everything again. This behavior had all but vanished until about six months ago when it mysteriously reasserted itself. If it’s not nailed down, it’ll eventually end up in his mouth. The “talking doctor” insists it’s an involuntary motor tic and that there’s nothing to be done. Dr. Goofy, my pediatrician hubbie, assures me that he’s never seen a groom walking down the aisle at his wedding chewing on his tuxedo shirt. (And to think, people actually pay him for his opinion on child rearing.)
I’ve tried everything over the years. We’ve done PT and OT and even “chew therapy.” I really did pay someone to come to my house and chew with him because her diagnosis was that he actually needed to chew more in order to stop chewing. (It didn’t make sense to me then, and still doesn’t now.)
So when the chewing inexplicably disappeared a while back, I was elated. I actually thought this was behind us. But of course, just as I’m lulled into a false sense of security, the chewing comes back with a vengeance.
I suggested gum. It gives him a headache. Different OT sites offer various chew toys he could keep in his pocket. Too babyish. I even thought about chewelry, the plastic sensory bracelets and necklaces that come in bright neon colors. He said (and this is utterly ironic) that he wouldn’t be caught dead in that stuff. Too embarrassing. In the meantime, he’s completely outcast from his peers (and some of his teachers). I’m not sure the computer teacher has forgiven him for inadvertently chewing off the ends of two expensive microphones that hook up to individual computers.
Finally, I found these totally cool necklaces at smartmomjewelry.com. They come in awesome colors and are actually designed for adults as teething rings for babies. You know how babies like to play with jewelry. Well, this is baby-appropriate teething jewelry. I showed it to my son and he out and out refused to even try it on. (When I showed it to his dad, he concurred with my son and said it would be worse to be wearing a necklace than slobbering over pencils and pens and other school supplies.)
What can I do? I cannot be the only mother who’s had to deal with this. Please tell me something that might work! I’m desperate.