My five year old son chews on everything and is now getting in trouble in school because he cannot keep things out of his mouth. Just today my husband received a phone call form the school concerned about my sons progress in school. His teacher feels as though my son may be behind because he chews on thing (ex markers, pens, toys) instead of paying attention to what they are discussing. My son has always chewed on things but at first we thought ' oh he is only two, two year olds chew on everything' Now we are concerned because he just turned five and STILL chews on everything. Any suggestions or resources?
This is an anxiety behaviour. It does not mean that your son suffers from anxiety - perhaps he is of a nervous or cautious or sensitive nature. Our son did this until he started high school - paper, pens, books, clothes, furniture, anything and everything. It is a comforting behaviour for the child. Will the school allow gum or some other chewable during class time? I would suggest that you not draw too much attention to the behaviour but instead, try to substitute the "chewing" behaviour with another comforting habit.
I realize your son is only five, but have you ever asked him why he feels inclined to chew on everything? Perhaps it is simply a bad habit.
Another possibility is Sensory Integration Dysfunction. If your son feels overstimulated by his environment, he may crave a certain sensory stimulation (such as chewing), that is in his control. You also mentioned him having difficulty concentrating in class, this diagnosis can often be found in combination with Attention Deficit Disorder.
so glad I found more information on this topic. My 3 year old daughter has this obsession with licking/chewing everything. Her latest object..... the case for my reading glasses. yuck!!! She loves fabric especially. Here I was thinking "what is wrong with my girl?" apparently it is very common. Thank you.
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