By Beth Ann
Our son, Will, has always had a habit of chewing on non-food items like pencil erasers and pen caps. This is a stimming behavior; something he does to occupy and soothe himself, like fidgeting. While many of us participate in a form of stimming, like foot jiggling or nail biting, certain variations of stimming, like chewing and hand flapping, are more frequently found in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This should not be confused with Pica, a condition where individuals crave and eat non-food items like dirt or paint chips. While Will doesn't swallow the items he chews on, it is still concerning. Within the last several years, he really acquired a preference for plastic bottle caps. We hate to think of the chemicals he is ingesting as well as the damage he is doing to his teeth! Some time ago, we found food grade silicone necklaces for chewing on Amazon. This version is made by GNAWRISHING and can be purchased in a pack of 8 for $11.98. There are plenty of other variations to satisfy any age group, special interest or color preference.