Chewing everything

by mary perez
(corpus christi, texas)

My Son age 11 has Tourettes Syndrome, with OCD, ADHD, Anger and social delays, sensory issues, and of course multiple gross motor and vocal tics.

I am frustrated with his chewing. He chews everything and always chews or if not chewing something picks his nose. I have tried all sorts of chewing items, pencil tops , necklaces , bracelets, that he can chew, but he will not use them. He just prefers to chew his finger tips and nails and toe nails, his bag, the table , the chairs , his pillow or his shirts.
He will spit out what he has chewed off and is therefore constantly spitting. This is becoming a big social barrier for him, everyone thinks he is spitting at them. It is rather gross.

I have seen an OT and he is on multiple medications from a neurologist for all his of the OCD traits but this is a big one now.

Any suggestion how to get this chewing and spitting to stop!

Comments for Chewing everything

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 10, 2012
Pica? Iron Deficiency? Iron Upload (Free Iron), unable to Upload from Intestine
by: Anonymous

My son ADHD, PDD-NOS, repetitive behaviors, chewing clothing, shirts, etc. He is in better shape now than he EVER HAS BEEN:
He got tics from meds: antipsychotics
Rispirdone & Seroquel, Concerta/Adderal. They stopped after I stopped meds, and researched/changed med with 0 or no side effect, no withdrawl symptoms, nonaddictive: Buspar, Generic: buspirone 5 or 10 mg/day. 11 y.o./ 100 lbs: we give him 5 mg 8:30 at school, 2.5 mg w/ lunch, 2.5 mg. EZ behavior - no meltdowns now... held my hand for 1st time. Notable change @ 1 week using med. Its similar to Wellbutrin/antianxiety....calming. Read about it@ Wikipedia

Had sleep disorder/difficulty sleeping: nope, no more: Trader Joes $3 bottle of melatonin (natural hormone/sleep/seratonin), 1 chewable/nite = .5 (1/2) mg. Sometimes give him 1 1/2 or 2, at 7pm after dinner, and if I forget, he asks for them, and goes to bed himself. Asleep by 8, sleeps good.
As to chewing clothing: Finally figured out: borderline anemic- PICA, Iron/Zinc deficiency, or inability to upload the iron into the blood (evid.), also $4 bottle of stuff, @ 1/2 pill/day (doc supv.), so no toxicity, after blood test yielded results of how much iron free (he was @12, norm: 24+). If child chews on ice, popcicles, always wants something to do with ice, or derivatives of it, this is indicative of PICA/Iron deficiency/iron upload probs - gastro, gut or intestinal absorbtion problems. Give Source of Life Chewable Vitamins: all natural, packed with more than any other vit. out there and they taste good. 1.5 per day.
Reduce/eliminate gluten/wheat. Use Rice, Rice Flour, Gluten free breads/goodies, rice pasta (can't tell difference). prob: rice pasta, Kraft sauce. Loves it.

What a behav. Shift. No Tics, Smiles, Good Natured, Interacts, OCD's lulled, the pipe is now open. Wish I had found out sooner. He doesn't take any other meds now, for 1 year.

Jan 01, 2012
Got Gum?
by: Anonymous

First, no you are not alone. My son (also 11) also chews on his fingers and toe nails as well. One thing you did not specifically mention, though you may have tried it already, is quite simply Chewing Gum. My son wouldn't use those other chewing tools either, because he doesn't want to look "weird" to other kids. But we keep a steady supply of gum available to him and it has actually helped. The school even will let him chew it discreetly...which is difficult because he still can't chew with his mouth closed...but that's another topic!
Best of luck to you!!

Dec 22, 2011
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry to say I don't have any advice for you but I can tell you that you're not alone. My son also chews things, just not as much of a variety as your son. He mostly chews on his fingers and shirt but we've also caught him putting toys in his mouth. I would love to hear what advice others may have for you.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to The SPD Q & A.