My niece chews on her coat zipper.

by Nchole
(Pennsylvania)

My niece is 5 and is diagnosed with Phelan McDermid Syndrome, an autistic-like syndrome. When she is wearing a jacket or coat that has a zipper near her mouth she chews on the top corner until it is completely destroyed. She will have the zipper teeth chewed down, broken out completely and then chew on the fabric until it is in strands. Then on to a new coat- she is on her second coat this winter.


We are concerned for her health in many ways because of this. We did find a lighter jacket with the zipper on the side for her to wear, but it is not heavy enough for a PA winter.

Does anyone have a suggestion of where we can find coats and jackets that do not have zippers at the neckline? A side zipper would be best since she will pull on snaps, velcro and buttons.

Any help would be wonderful!

Comments for My niece chews on her coat zipper.

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Sep 06, 2012
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Have had the same problems...
by: Anonymous

I'm doing research in consideration of opening an online store, and found your query. I have a 'chewer' myself...and another kid with some sensory processing issues. They've prompted me to think about going into business for myself. If I'm successful with my store I'll let you know. I plan to sell reasonably priced 'soft' clothing items that are seamless, zipperless, and comfortable (especially for those with sensory processing issues). There doesn't seem to be a one-stop place to purchase that stuff and it places us moms in a pickle.

Sep 26, 2011
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chewing on zippers
by: Anonymous

hello
t
here are many styles of coats that are warm. try getting her a coat that the zipper only comes up to about her shoulders. i have a carhartt coat its very warm and the zipper only comes up to my shoulders. i love it. plus the zipper is metal. i dont think she would chew on metal zippers you can get these coats in some shoe stores that sell other things too. you can also order them online. go to
www.carhartt.com.

they are a little bit on the pricy side. butt there great coats that last years. if she continues to chew on it. do you have to discipline her when she chews on it. you could try saying something like if you continue to chew on it im going to smack your butt. all kids hate to be spanked.that might help. its your choice. good luck.

Mar 11, 2011
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coats
by: Anonymous

I guess each kids have their own tick. My son who is ADD doesn't chew his clothes. Instead, My 13 year old daughter who has no disorder still does that too and I guess its nothing much you can really do except to try the best to keep reminding her. The weather is cold and its always zipped up to her mouth so its like the coat "begging" to be chewed on. Her coats are chewed at the collars and fraying too and always come home soaking a little. She will chew the hood chords and gnaw the toggle pulls until its all full of teethmarks and sometimes so chewed they just drop off! So even if there are no zippers, you will then have to contend with her chewing on the collar!

I volunteer at her school and sometimes help out with the lost and found and at least about a quarter of the coats are also chewed or have a patch of dried out saliva on the collars. YUCKK! But i guess its normal and it shouldn't be too harmful....

Dec 21, 2010
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chewers
by: Anonymous

how about layering and then also getting jackets that are low neck. You then give her a scarf. My daughter is 10 and has this habit suddenly. And we just bought her a north face this year and she has already chewed the collar to shreds and all the zipper and hood pulls have deep teethmarks all over. So we "downgraded" her back to her older jacket which had no collars that really did go up to her mouth and the chewing had to go away.

Apparently its a common habit at school for the kids to chew their jackets but its just the extent. Some chew it to shred while others suck and have the jacket constantly in their mouths it all becomes soaked and frozen with saliva.

She did bite her necklace and scarf but that is a much smaller problem to deal with.

I am trying hard to deal with her stationery though. I am still trying to figure that out but every pen, pencil, highlighter and even rulers all over the house are chewed. Those that belong to her as well as those that don't.

Good luck too.

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