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Chewing non-edible items

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  • Chewing non-edible items

    Have you ever experienced the need to eat paper or chew on cardboard? Do you know anyone who does? Do your children chew things like clothes ie zippers of their jackets, or the neck of a t-shirt? How often have you ever seen this? Is this considered to be a tic?

    If you have any experienced in this area please share.
    Janet

    TSFC Homepage

  • #2
    Chewing non-edible items

    When I was a kid, I chewed the heck out of the ear pieces of my eyeglasses...and I think I chewed my pencils and erasers...am I dating myself?
    Steve

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

    Tourette Canada Homepage
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    • #3
      Chewing non-edible items

      Pencils and erasers are still in...

      I chewed paper as a kid and don't really experience any need to chew pen tops, etc these days. I have noticed one of my twins chewing his t-shirt and he chewed one to the point that the fabric was gone and it had to be thrown away. At school the kids can order books from scholastic and it's a very exciting day when the books arrive at school. well last week the books for my boys arrived and one of them came home with the top of the books edge chewed away... the book had not been opened... it's brand new and the top of all the pages are chewed and crumpled :? . I have heard others talkabout this type of thing before. I wonder how prevelant it is.
      Janet

      TSFC Homepage

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      • #4
        Chewing non-edible items

        One of my sons (without TS) used to chew the collar, zipper, hood etc. of any coat he wore. He would wear out the coats 'from the top down'. He likes to chew paper (I remember doing this, too) and always seems to have pens, popsicle sticks etc. in his mouth. He now chooses to chew gum during school. (He's in high school and its allowed -- things have changed!) He says it stops him from grinding his teeth.

        My son with TS does less chewing, but can't seem to leave the strings on hooded sweatshirts (hoodies) or coats alone.
        Cathy
        Forum Moderator

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        • #5
          Chewing non-edible items

          That's interesting. Do you think the chewing could be a TS related isssue?

          My 5 year old came out of class today with the front of his t-shirt soaking wet and the front section of his neckband was chewed to the point that it was ripped down the front... ready for a new rag for me to polish the furniture with :?

          The plan was to look at something else he could chew. I have tried gum but when something more interesting cathes his eye I have found gum stuck to the leg of his jeans Any ideas of what i can transfer this need to chew to??
          Janet

          TSFC Homepage

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          • #6
            Chewing non-edible items

            I wonder if an occupational therapist might have some suggestions? This might be related to a sensory issue (hypo-sensitive -- craves the stimulation) or to anxiety. Could also be a compulsion. I don't think it is TS -- but could definitely be part of the associated disorders.

            My son's chewing did got so bad that we had to take action. His coats wore out and couldn't be passed on to others, but they generally lasted long enough that I didn't have to replace the coat before he outgrew them.
            Cathy
            Forum Moderator

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            • #7
              Chewing non-edible items

              Cathy:

              He is only 5 and he is definitely showing all and I mean all the symptoms on the checklist for ADHD.. the OCD comes through in things like we have to "say bye, have a nice day" and wave every single time we leave him. If we do not then the place is in an upset. If he is telling a story and gets interrupted he will start from the beginning and re-tell the entire thing over... once he finishes he will often let 2-3 minutes pass and guess what? he starts to tell the story all over again. So there are "other" associated behaviors going on here. I was wondering what you were referring towhen you said you took action. What types of things? are you willing to share?
              Both my 5 year olds have already been referred to OT and we are still waiting.

              thanks
              Janet

              TSFC Homepage

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              • #8
                Chewing non-edible items

                Hi Janet:

                By taking action, I meant a couple of things, including going to an Occupational Therapist for an assessment. We also looked briefly at some redirection exercises, but for various reasons we decided to wait it out and monitor it to see if it got worse. The behaviour actually subsided on its own as he got older, and he worked out ways to redirect some of it. He did most of the redirection on his own.
                Cathy
                Forum Moderator

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                • #9
                  CHEW CHEW

                  My oldest (12) eat's his eraser', pensil's, pen's, paper, this is called PIKA. He now chew's gum in class when he has it. His brother's have TS as well but they don't chew thing's.

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                  • #10
                    Chewing non-edible items

                    Hi there ticsx3

                    I have never heard of PIKA. What does it stand for? I'm assuming it's an acronym.
                    Janet

                    TSFC Homepage

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                    • #11
                      Chewing non-edible items

                      Pica info






                      edited by moderator after initial post

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                      • #12
                        Chewing non-edible items

                        Thanks Haejinn

                        So how would you know if the chewing of clothes or pencils, etc was considered a tic or would it be PIKA?
                        Janet

                        TSFC Homepage

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                        • #13
                          Pica

                          Just google Pica and you will get a zillion hits that is a start. If after that you think your son might have it take him to your GP to check it out. I don't know what they do, I just try to keep him chewing gum at school, but he is older. It doesn't stop him completly.

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