November 30, 2010

Day 1: Moe's Favorite Things

If Oprah can have two days of favorite things, Moe can have a whole week, right? Well, 4 days because I took the first day with my ode to Tassimo. Today, we're going to talk chewing.

When Moe was first diagnosed we didn't think he had a lot of sensory processing issues. He didn't seem to be affected by lights or noise very much, and loved cuddles. Hahahaha! We had no idea how wrong we were. We didn't realize that it could work the other way. Some kids are sensory averse, but Moe is a sensory seeker. He likes to touch and fidget and splash and especially to chew. As an infant he rarely mouthed his toys the way many babies do, but for the past year or so he's made up for lost time. There is not a book, toy, item of clothing, or piece of furniture that does not have bite marks on it.

I didn't think I'd have to tell anyone to stop chewing on the furniture since the dog did this:

For whatever reason, Moe needs to chew. It calms him and he likes the deep pressure. Lots of people like to chew and we find socially acceptable ways to do this, by chewing on things like pen caps or gum. For Moe, who wants to chew on everything, we say "not for mouth!" and redirect to appropriate things to chew on. That means basically three things: food, chewy tubes and his monkey puppet.

You know what food is, so I guess I don't need to really explain that. We do try to give Moe a lot of oral input at snacktime, with plenty of chewy and crunchy foods.

We also try to always have a chewy tube hanging around Moe's neck. This is tough because he tends to take it off and drop it wherever he happens to be when he's done chewing, but I have a lot of these around the house. For those of you who don't know, chewy tubes are hard rubber tubes that you can, well, chew on. I suppose I didn't really need to tell you that either. These are Moe's favorites:

Chewy Tube with Bumps
Pen Cap Chewy

We also allow Moe to chew on a gorilla puppet he's had since he was a baby. He's actually on his second one and I have another one waiting just in case. We removed the electronic squeaker so we can put it in the washing machine. Moe loves chewing on this puppet and bites down really hard. Here's a before and after:

Before: Happy squeaky monkey!
After: Sad Monkey
Not all kids with autism chew and plenty of kids without autism do. As far as Moe's sensory seeking behaviors, it is annoying, but not something we are too worried about. He'll either grow out of it or we'll help him find socially acceptable ways of getting this input.

For information on where to buy the chewy tubes mentioned here, click on the link above called "resources."


  1. It's probably better to be sensory seeking than sensory averse. My daughter is a little of both, but even in these areas, her sensory issues are pretty minor! Yay!

  2. Poor sad monkey :( He sacrificed himself for Moe's benefit and for that he is something of a hero.

  3. Cheryl, we take what we can get, right? :)
    And Lyn,, well said. I know he's my hero.


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