Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Autistic Angel Adventures

“Out Of The Mouth”

Please tell me I’m not the only parent of an autistic child to say this repeatedly!  I know I’m not, but sometimes you start to feel like a broken record when you say it enough times.  So many autistic children have sensory issues that can vary from one child to the next.  A large majority deal with oral sensory issues or as it’s easier explained putting non-food objects in the mouth.  This can be one of those “adventures” that keeps you literally on your toes every second of every day. 
Blue eyes, my oldest, has an overwhelming oral sensory issue.  This has been ever since he was a toddler.  Everything from matchbox cars and building blocks to crayons and dinosaurs he has tried to chew on.  We ordered him a set of metal dog tags (for identification purposes due to wandering) a few years back, needless to say he chewed them till the information was unreadable!  Of course try brushing his teeth with a regular toothbrush and you may regret it!  He’s even funny about trying new foods; he has to go through his own process of smelling it, studying it, and feeling the texture of it on his lip before even considering tasting it.  Oh the fun that can be had with an ASD child is “endless” as I always say.  Hence, this means we always have to watch over him on special outings or family events because you never know what he might find to put in his mouth next!
Fortunately there are quite a few sensory toys and such available on the market today that help with the child’s sensory cravings to chew.  You have to really have an open mind though, because to the public eye it may look like you gave your 8, 10, or 12 year old a teething ring.  But we know it is a sensory toy for calming the child and his cravings.  So who cares if others may stare and or what they may say?  If it means my child won’t have a meltdown or bite someone, then by all means let him have it!  Here are a few examples of items that may help and can be found online.
Vibrating Teether
Chewy Tube

There are also many things you can do at home like making the child a healthy snack with plenty of “crunch” such as carrots or apples.  I’ve even given my son frozen fruit to chew or made ice cubes from juice…my boys love to chew ice chips.  For those children that prefer something not so crunchy I saved the best for last…here’s a recipe from my childhood days for Peanut Butter Playdough!

Peanut Butter Playdough
1 cup Peanut Butter
2/3 to 1 cup Non fat dry milk
2 TB Honey
Mix ingredients together in a bowl.  Add enough powdered milk to make it dry enough to shape and mold just like playdough.  Eat when finished playing!

 They can shape and mold it just like regular playdough, and even add decoration with things like raisins, mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, or cheerios.  When they’re all done they can eat it, which means...EASY CLEAN UP…can’t beat that, right?
If anyone is interested in more ideas for sensory toys, you can always follow my board I started on Pinterest.  Thanks again for joining me today and please don't be shy, drop me a line or two!

Yours Truly,

Heather Joy

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