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Pencil Biting
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Pencil Biting

This discussion is related to Nearly 7 year old, bites pencil in class etc...


My son is 8 years old.  His teacher last year was upset that he was always fidgeting in class and moved his seat away from all the other children.  She suggested I have him tested for ADHD.  His pediatrician said he was fine as long as he was still maintaing good grades.  No amount of begging the teacher would help have my son moved back with his classmates.  He began chewing on his shirts to relieve some of his anxiety.  By the end of the year he was chewing up many pencils a day.  I have tried a stress ball as a replacement but he chewed that up also.  His new teacher is fabulous but we don't know how to break this habit.
Please help, I'm afraid he'll end up with lead poisoning!
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
what ever happened with your son and pencil biting? My son has just started doing the same thing
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi.  S ucking on things such as shirt sleeves or collars or chewing on things is a common thing for kids trying to self soothe.  My son craves oral input to calm himself when nervous and upset.  He has sensory integration disorder but this is a common thing with adhd kids and kids with general anxiety.  Know any adults that often chew gum?  Same thing-----------  they like it not just because it tastes good but because of the action of chewing.  What I'd suggest is to look for specific times he is doing this and what is going on.  You might see a pattern and be able to tell what is at the heart of the anxiety and need to self soothe. Then I'd give him alternatives for it.  Our school uses coffee stirrers or cut straws.  They make all kinds of little tools as well--------  some slip right on the end of a pencil to chew on (some even vibrate).  You can get those from somewhere like the Therapyshoppe (google that).  goodluck
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Avatar_m_tn
Specialmom has real good point about the anxiety.  I think that is much more the cause.  Finding out the triggers would help.  Oh, and don't worry about lead poisoning, pencils have graphite in them, not lead.  I've got a friend that has a worry stone - a very small piece of rock that just fits his thumb size which he always carries around to rub.  Point being look for alternatives.
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13167_tn?1327197724
First,  a child won't get lead poisoning from eating pencils - they're graphite,  not lead.

I complete agree with SpecialMom about the coffee straws,  or other chewable objects.  Chewing calms and helps the brain become organized.
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Avatar_f_tn
My son has been chewing on this since I can remember! He is grade one now and his teacher is a amazing about this chewing. The problem we both have is that she has kept everything he has chewed on and there is enough pencils to last more then a school year! I have talked to him and tried to figure out his problem, and cant come up with anything. He has also chewed on books, sleeves, shirts colars, knees of his pants, at first we thought he was teething. Just wondering if I should buy him a teething toy for home....any ideas???
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973741_tn?1342346373
Well, by the time he is your son's age, he is most likely chewing to soothe himself.  Yes, I'd go ahead and invest in some other items for him to try.  There are online shops that sell items----------  rubber T's and P's are common either smooth or textured.  (Therapyshoppe is a source I've used).  They also make items that can slip onto the end a pencil for chewing purposes. Our school gives cut straws or coffee stirrers for this purpose as well. I think I would try to work further on understanding the root cause of this action.  My son chews his shirt sleeves if he is nervous, bored or upset.  Do you think our son has underlying anxiety?  Does he get easily upset and have a difficult time calming down?  Just curious.  Watch for these things later on as you will want to help him if it escalates.  My son that chews shirt sleeves has sensory integration disorder.  good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks some awesome ideas for me to try with a Kindergarten girl that I teach that is chewing the eraser and metal off the end of her pencils. Thanks, MR
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks some awesome ideas for me to try with a Kindergarten girl that I teach that is chewing the eraser and metal off the end of her pencils. Thanks, MR
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Avatar_m_tn
my son it 14, still eat pencil; many a times i catch him with entire pencil in his mouth chewing like he has gum in mouth. we tried many option but he is not forgetting; suggest what best to do.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey so i chew on my pencil is that harmful? Its not about anxiety its because it is something to occupy me as i am thinking about homework
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973741_tn?1342346373
Actually, chewing on a pencil is not a good idea.  Some people do need oral soothing in order to focus.  I would find other things to chew on---  thick bubble gum, a rubber chew item, etc.  good luck

I think that is the best course of action for everyone---  to offer an alternative item to chew.  good luck
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