September 26, 2011

An Unsavory New Habit

Moe has developed a new habit. He's been spitting. He doesn't spit at anything or anyone. He just spits on his fingers, then wipes it off on whatever is nearby including his shirt, the wall, the window or the sofa. Yuck.

I'm not sure exactly when it started, but it has been at least a month. I think it started around the time he started school this year. The good news is Moe doesn't seem to be biting or chewing as much (though he still puts everything in his mouth), so it seems this fun new behavior has replaced the old fun behavior. At least a little bit. For now. You know how these things go.

I've started meeting a few moms for breakfast occasionally, and we discovered last week that this habit seems to be going around. A number of the kids have been spitting. They've also all been screaming the same high pitched scream. We all think it is our kid who started these lovely behaviors. But I'm pretty sure it was Moe. At least it's some form of imitation. Who says our kids aren't paying attention?

The spitting is definitely a sensory seeking behavior, though I'm not sure yet if it is the oral or tactile input, or both, that Moe likes. I also haven't been able to track yet if it happens more during certain times of day or activities. Our OT suggested giving similar tactile input, like finger painting or playing with shaving cream, to see if that helps.

I'm considering trying the brushing protocol again to see if that helps. We already incorporate oral input into Moe's sensory diet, like giving chewy and crunchy foods and giving smoothies through a straw. Does anyone else have any experience with this? I'd love to hear what has worked for you.


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