Constant licking and spitting

by Amanda

I am concerned for my daughter, she is 6.5 years old and has just successfully finished kindergarden. About 5 months ago she started licking herself, mainly after someone would touch her. Say I would touch her arm she would then lick her arm or lick her fingers and rub the spot that was touched.

My husband and I have tried everything to get her to stop (primarily because I don't want her to get sick from constantly exposing herself to germs) we have tried positive reinforcement, awards, taking toys and privileges away after repeated licking. Nothing works. She does this all the time and it is getting worse. Her pcp doesn't seem to worry about it and he just said, "well you need to get her to quit that!" Um, ok, that is what we have been trying to do.

Now she has started spitting, we have caught her spitting on her bed, hands, floor, pretty much anywhere. I don't know if this is an anxiety type of issue? SPD? She is very well adjusted and has plenty of friends. If anyone has suggestions please help! I don't know what my next step should be, a psychiatric?

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Feb 10, 2017
Spitting and Licking
by: Amber

My daughter is almost 3. She has not been formally diagnosed with SPD but displays many sensory behaviors, her strongest sensory area being oral. She, too, licks her arms and licks me. She also spits a lot, into napkins, on the floor, into her fingers and rubs it on her hands and arms, etc.

My daughter displays these behaviors more often when she is tired, over-stimulated, or anxious. Identifying the trigger has helped to curb some of the behavior. Perhaps identifying the triggers, and there are probably multiple, and then instituting therapeutic exercises around times you feel will trigger your child may help.

Chewlery, tubing, and even some proprioception exercises like bouncing on an exercise ball and brushing have helped somewhat. A huge trigger in my house is bedtime, so we do bouncing down the hallway, brushing of her feet and hands, and squeezes down her extremities, and she chews on an old toothbrush or Chewlery during story time while I rock her.

Mornings are very similar as she struggles with getting out of bed. Hope some of these ideas help!

Feb 26, 2016
2 yr old licking also
by: Worried Mom

My 2 year old also has a licking issue. She just started having it right after having an ear infection. We had went to the doctor a week before because she seemed sick and very fussy. I had them check her ear the first time and they said no ear infection. I took her last night to E.R. and they diagnosed it. I really believe she had it all along but was misdiagnosed. Yesterday was when she started to lick everything. I thought she was acting like a puppy trying to lick so I played pretend. She has started antibotics now and is licking even more. Maybe the lick ing is something to do with coping from an illness.

Sep 03, 2015
Must read
by: Anonymous

I'm 23 and I use to lick my finger tips all the time after touch or

When I got out of the shower or had been wet , I did it to make the uncomfortable feelings in my hands go away and don't do it anymore but part of me still

Wants to because of how uncomfortable my skin gets . They may just have sensory problems like I did they said I had hyper sensitivity does your
Kid get really uncomfortable after being wet ? I use to scream and cry and only could wear soft or
Silky clothes afterwards

Jun 28, 2015
Maybe Autism
by: Niamh

Ok, I know I am young but I am 10... I have SPD.. But I think your daughter has Autism because a boy in my class always licks his arms and spits on his hands and he has Autism.. (I am at the end of 4th class..) But it is probably Autism, so maybe you should look up the Symptoms for Autism and if she has some/most of them bring her to a docter..
I hope this helped!

Jun 07, 2015
Us too
by: Tiffany

My son has autism and is 11 . For the last 6 yrs spitting has been his issue off and on . In our case , he is non - verbal so he can't tell us why he does it . It seem mostly I notice it when he is bored . I'm sure it fulfills a sensory need . I might suggest getting a referral to an occupational therapist or O/T . They can offer ideas or suggestions that may help . Ive heard gum or hard candy sometimes helps to redirect the spitting .Could there be a physical / dental problem ? I wish you luck going forward ...

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