Shirt chewing ideas

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Shirt chewing ideas
Mon, 08-25-2003 - 11:38am

Thought I would put this here so it wouldn't get lost.

1st. Were are going to make a short written list of what to do when chewing on his shirt. For instance

1. SHIRT DOWN or "out of mouth" (some short phrase he can learn to cue him when he is chewing on it. Probably "fix your shirt" I think)

2. BREATHE (relaxation breathing technique we are teaching him)

3. STRAIGHTEN (straighten his shirt)

4. HANDS (find something to do with his hands - either what he is supposed to be doing or something to help take care of that sensory need for him)

2nd: We will role play it and pretend he is chewing his shirt, give him the cue and he should talk through and do the steps until he can do it without talking through them anymore. Then help teach him to notice when he is doing it and cue himself through the steps.

3rd: have a token system/ reward system for having a dry shirt after school.

4th: (and this is what I added) Work with the teacher and OT to find some appropriate sensory activities he can do in school to take care of that need.

Mike usually does it when he is nervous/ anxious, so a big part of it too is the relaxation. Also, he mentioned having Mike draw what was on his mind. I think even taking the time to talk to him, give him a break, or some other sensory activity will help. Mike is not always a big drawing guy, but he needs some sort of outlet for the stress.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 6:34am
Wow, thatnks for sharing that, Renee! That sounds like a really good plan for the shirt chewing. We use a similar plan to help Eva with her 'swalling' when she gets anxious. She deffiantely sounds like rainman, only minus the handflapping. We get her to make eye contact then say BREATH. We lead her in taking a few deep breaths and use our hands to show her to keep her voice down so she can talk in an understandable pitch. As soon as she can relate the immediate problem she is better. But that's usually because we are able to fix it for her. 9 X out of 10 her routine has somehow been broken and needs to be restored as best as possible.

Thanks again for sharing that. I'm going to try using the verbal promts more.