How to Keep Children’s Hands out of Their Mouth: Sensory Processing Disorder
Family - July 30, 2021

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Have you heard of Sensory Processing Disorder? Oral fixation and kids’ sensory issues are real, and now more than ever, we have to be more proactive about our health and find ways to avoid getting sick. I found a product to keep children’s hands out of their mouth.

boy chewing on a sensory tool on his pencil while wearing blue headphones

For the sake of our kids’ nervous system, it is so important for them to keep their hands out of their mouth, their hands off their face, and to wash their hands. Especially now more than ever we should pay attention to that when we’re in the outside world meeting lots of people.

boy chewing on sensory necklace while writing with a sensory pencil to keep hands out of mouth

What is ARK Therapeutic for Sensory Processing Disorder?

ARK Therapeutic sells special need’s writing tools, fidgets, chewies and products for oral motor sensory input and sensory stimulation. They also have products that help with ADHD and offer tools for sensory issues such as Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. These chewies are great for oral fixation issues in kids’ everyday life and as an occupational therapy for sensory systems.

What are Sensory Processing Disorder Symptoms?

I found a checklist of symptoms of sensory processing difficulties here:

School Age:

___ My child is overly sensitive to environmental factors such as crowded places, to stimulation, overreacts to physical contact or does not like touch, loud noises, smells, bright lights, gets uneasy in a traffic jam.

___ My child is easily distracted in the classroom, often out of his/her seat, fidgety.

___ My child is easily overwhelmed at the playground, during recess and in class.

___ My child is slow to perform tasks and struggles to give appropriate responses.

___ My child has difficulty performing or avoids fine motor skills such as handwriting.

___ My child appears clumsy on the playground equipment and stumbles often, also slouches in chair.

___ My child craves rough housing, tackling/wrestling games.

___ My child is slow to learn new activities and has a hard time with social interaction.

___ My child is in constant motion and shows a hyperactivity disorder.

___ My child has difficulty learning new motor tasks and prefers sedentary activities.

___ My child has difficulty making friends (overly aggressive or passive/ withdrawn).

___ My child ‘gets stuck’ on tasks and has difficulty changing to another task.

___ My child confuses similar sounding words, misinterprets questions or requests.

___ My child has difficulty reading, especially aloud.

___ My child stumbles over words; speech lacks fluency, and rhythm is hesitant.

What are Sensory Support Tools?

Sensory tools are any tool or technique that increases or decreases sensory messages input to help with a child’s ability to focus and learn.

I’ve been told that they both have symptoms of ADHD but I keep doing my research. ARK Therapeutic sells products for special needs, promotes self soothing, and helps with sensory processing difficulties.

Since the news, I have definitely been more aware of avoiding germs.  There are many ways to prepare for a pandemic, but getting your kids to listen and keep their hands away from their face about is a whole different task. Especially if they have Sensory Integration Dysfunction and Sensory Processing Issues.

variety of chewies flat lay for keeping children's hands out of their mouth for sensory processing disorder

When I was young, I sucked my thumb and then moved on to nail biting. This was at a time when people just went with it and didn’t really see it as a problem. I was just thought of as a nervous kid trying to self soothe.

It wasn’t that big of a deal back then, even with a huge bump on my thumb.

My kids, on the other hand, just don’t really get it.  And why should they?  How could they possibly understand what’s going on in the world?  This virus has changed our lives forever. It has changed the way we address everything.

Since my children were born, both my husband and I have been diligent with keeping them informed about germs and washing hands.  However, they are kids and kids like to suck their fingers an chew their nails and basically get dirty – as kids should!

Thankfully, we have so many more tools these days to help kids with Sensory Integration Disorder like chewies.

Sensory Toys for Children with Autism or ADHD

What is Stimming?

Now that we have these tools and knowing that stimming helps to relieve anxiety and ADHD in a child’s behavior, it is a big relief and not something to be ashamed of.  Everyone needs to self soothe in their own way.  Stimming is often used as a means to self-regulate, self-calm and for self-expression.

Recently, both my children, who are older now want to chew on everything all the time. They love putting things in their mouths, such as bottle caps and pencils, and of course their hands. So, I sent them to school with chewies to help them with their sensory modulation disorder.

They are home now and we are getting settled into homeschooling but it’s not easy with kids having neurological disorder. Homeschooling hacks have come in handy, but when they put their hands in their mouth, I want to cringe! The pencil toppers have really helped with attention deficit kids.

child playing on ipad while chewing on a sensory tool for sensory processing disorder

Before the pandemic, I was struggling with both kids; behaviors at school.  It took a few months to understand what was going on, but I realized that they both struggled a lot with sitting still and their constant need to chew on stuff. 

Sensory Processing Disorder and Why Kids Self Soothe

One of my sons likes to self soothe a lot by skin rubbing and having repetitive behavior. I found out that the role of the repetitive movements are to self-stimulate the 7 senses. My other son simply couldn’t sit still and chewed on everything. He loves his saber chewy.

Risk factors like birth complications, premature birth, and brain injury lead to a strong habit of thumb sucking because this way kids discover they can easily relax and soothe their senses and anxiety.

You may want to break the habit of thumb and finger sucking. It may be a temporary fix to sensory stuff or something to distract them from fidgeting. Sometimes a treatment plan is through speech therapy that you find out about these products.

For myself, I was looking for something to keep their hands out of their mouth.

boys doing homework chewing on a grey chewie necklace for sensory processing disorder

When we found ARK Therapeutic it was such a relief to me. I didn’t ask the kids’ teachers if they could bring the chews to school. I told the teachers they needed it and that they would be coming to school with them.

Recently, my pediatrician mentioned the sensory issues again for my nine-year-old and he goes to a pretty strict school. However, if you find yourself in this situation, you can ask for a doctor’s note.

How do you Choose the Right Chewy to Keep Children’s Hands out of their Mouth?

It really depends on if kids chew with their front teeth or back teeth. Your child’s needs are different and will require different therapy tools, like feeding tools, oral motor sensory tools, or fine motor tools. Sometimes you may even want to refer to an occupational therapist for prescribing a special sensory diet.

ark therapeutic chewies on pencils and necklace for sensory processing disorder

Like I said, these tools have really helped my boys and they are not been tested or diagnosed with anything. We are taking everything one day at a time in this crazy world. My advice? Do you research on statistical manual of mental disorders and sensory integration therapy!

Which one are you getting?

Other Items to Keep Kid’s Hand’s Out of Their Mouth:

Fidget Computer Mouse

Stress Relief Wristband Fidget Toys

Sensory Water Beads

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