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Need to chew things at school

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  • Need to chew things at school

    My 7 year old son was diagnosed with OCD last year, and has recently gone through some series of tests to determine if he has ADHD (probably), but has not got the final diagnosis on Tourettes even though he has had physical/motor tics for more than a year. That is probably coming next now that the vocal tics have emerged. He has been exhibiting lots of vocal tics -little grunts, and motor tics-rubbing chin on his shoulder -over the last 2 weeks. Although during this time of numerous and frequent tics, his emotions have been more stable, and he has been in better control of his anger.

    However, he has now started chewing the erasers on his pencils! I noticed this the first time tonight while he was doing his homework. I told him he really should try not to do this as the eraser may make him sick. He said he does this all the time at school now and gets up to go spit the eraser out. He said he's not sure when this started, just a little while ago. I am concerned about comments he may start getting from his classmates if this continues and how it might affect his self esteem. I was thinking of allowing him some chewing gum to alleviate the "need to chew", but maybe this is not allowed in class?? Has anyone else had this problem? Does it sound like a tic, or just some sensory issues?
    Every day is something new!

  • #2
    Re: Need to chew things at school

    Hi Cindy:

    A common strategy that is used for chewing, licking, vocal tics or really any tic or compulsion involving the mouth is chewing gum or candy.

    It likely is not allowed in class however I have not heard of anyone having a great deal of difficulty getting the school to agree to such a small accomodation.


    • #3
      Re: Need to chew things at school

      Hi Cindy

      We went through this with my son at an earlier age. In stead of bubble gum like most kids like we used the packages of gum (sugar free) and it was kept at the teachers desk.

      The rule of thumb was one piece per each class. This continued through 4th grade in his case.

      Our school was accommodating and we had the physicians support recommending it.


      • #4
        Re: Need to chew things at school

        Hi there

        I have a son who is 6 1/2 and he went through this last year. He was chewing his shirts... the neckbands of his t-shirts got chewed to the point it had no band at all. The cotton was gone and he must have been swallowing it. It started, went on for months and then suddenly stopped...I have classified it as a tic since it was never about the texture but about the chewing motion- motor tic. I have a friend who has a son one year older and he went through almost a year of sucking his shirt, his shirt was always wet and stretched out of shape... that too suddenly just stopped.

        Take note of the duration of these types of behaviors so you can share it at your next doctors appt.

        TSFC Homepage


        • #5
          Re: Need to chew things at school

          I do that exact same thing with my erasers and pencils, Since i have tourettes and ocd, i know when it's a tic or compulsion because compulsions relieve anxiety and tics dont.

          For me, It's a compulsion, it's usually happens in math class, It's really strange

          Cindy, I hope this will help your child make him feel comfortable with OCD.