Showing posts with label sensory processing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sensory processing. Show all posts

Chewigem Review and Giveaway!
This photo was borrowed from the Chewigem website.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  I received a free chewigem in exchange for an honest review.  All the opinions are my own and because I was already a big fan of the product I did not ask for payment, just the free product for my child and for the giveaway!

I first wrote about Chewigem when I discovered it through Dyspraxia USA.  I have since gotten one for my daughter, A, so I wanted to write a review and give someone else a chance to try this for themselves.

My daughter has some sensory issues and one of the biggest ways this manifests itself is with chewing.  She will chew on pens, jewelry, her shirt collar, and erasers.  There are even odder things I have had to make her take out of her mouth.  She will pretty much bite on anything within reach without thinking about it.

I was (am) also dyspraxic and when I was a child my pens and pencils always looked like a puppy had gotten to them.  I also used to chew on phone cords.  (Yes, phones used to have cords).  So, I understand and can relate to this need to gnaw on everything.  Sometimes when I am really lost in my work I still nibble on my pens!

I was really happy when I learned about Chewigem because instead of trying to inhibit a child's need to chew, they devised a way to allow the child to safely indulge in this behavior.

So, what are Chewigems?  Chewigems are jewelry you can sink your teeth into!  It's made of FDA approved silicone and comes in a variety of attractive shapes and colors.  A had a blue one and she wanted a pink one to go with her other outfits, so now she has two.

I was really happy with how the jewelry was made.  I half expected it to be thinner and imagined my daughter eventually chewing through it.  Fortunately, it's very thick and durable and I don't think she could chew through it in 20 years!  Her friends all like it and think it is cute.  They have no idea it is made to chew on, especially since they are used to seeing A chew on everything anyway.  My son, who does not have a chewing problem, is begging me to get him one too because to him it looks like his sister is having a blast chewing away (and I think she is).

When I learned about the vestibular system, I found that children learn and concentrate better when they are allowed to fidget.  I believe that chewing is similar to fidgeting and I think if children are allowed to release energy and be stimulated in this way they can better focus their attention and become less frustrated.  Last night, for example, when I was working on my daughter's math homework with her, she was extremely frustrated.  She said things like, "I just want to run!"  "I need to stretch!"  "I need to scream."  She was randomly, even frantically, putting things in her mouth.  The eraser from her mechanical pencil is no longer attached now. She pulled out an earring and put it in her mouth, too. When I took the earring, her hair went in.  Finally I asked, "Where is your Chewigem?"  She retrieved it.  She chewed on that furiously while we worked.  She was able to concentrate again and get all that stress out on her chewable necklace.  I'm not saying this is a cure-all but it helps. It helps her to cope and I don't have to worry about her choking on anything!

Chewigem has added a lot of new products.  They have dog tags, bangle bracelets, eternity necklaces, cat gems, and more. I'd love to give someone else the opportunity to experience the difference that Chewigem can make in their child's life so I am hosting a giveaway so you can get your own!  Chewigem has been generous enough to offer a free product of your "chewsing" if you win!  Like I said, they have a lot of choices. 

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Jewelry Your Child Can Sink Their Teeth Into!

My child chews on everything!  Pens, pencils, rubber bands, whatever she happens to have nearby.  Today she was chewing on her My Little Pony necklace.

I used to do the same thing.  Pens and phone cords were my chews of choice.  I remember not being able to help myself.  I just needed to chew.

I let my daughter chew gum.  To hell with the no gum in school rule.  She concentrates a lot better when she is chewing and I don't have to worry that she is going to choke or get germs.

Then, today I saw something even better.  It was like synchronicity because I looked at my daughter with her necklace in her mouth and then I looked at my computer and on my screen was this:

I did a double take.  Then I saw that it was posted on Facebook by Dyspraxia USA for kids who have sensory issues and need to chew.  They were promoting a company called Chewigem that makes chewable necklaces and bracelets.

I will be ordering one!  Here is the link if you are interested:

I have no affiliation with this company whosoever.  I just think this is really cool.

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Your Child's Vestibular System: The Fidgeting, Zoning Out System

When your kid has dyspraxia, sensory processing disorders, and/ or ADHD, the vestibular system plays a huge a role.  When you understand this medically, you cannot blame the child.  My daughter did not ever get a monthly "terrific kid" award in all her years in school.  Her grades were pretty good and I was never told anything bad about her behavior (and I asked- A LOT!) but she was consistently marked down on her report card for "zoning out," "not following directions," "fidgeting," and "losing focus."

Zoning Out is something that cannot be helped.  Info just stops getting through for a bit.

Not Following Directions when you have an auditory processing disorder is usually due to not hearing all the directions.

Fidgeting is actually great for kids with dyspraxia, ADHD, and sensory processing disorders because it helps them keep focus and balanced.

Losing Focus happens when you have to put all your energy into being still.

It wasn't just the monthly awards- my daughter also went from being in enrichment to being left out of it and her grades were impacted because of the check marks given to her in these social-behaviorial categories.  My daughter's school was one of the first to use the new common core report card which I hated because it seemed to be more based on teacher opinion than facts.  With the old report cards you added numbers together and averaged them for your grade.  With this one it was all about interpretation.  You were graded 1-4 with 4 being the best, but the teachers said you could never really expect to get a 4 unless you creatively applied the information outside of just what happens in the classroom.  My daughter does this all the time, but the teachers said they did not see it and the behavior check marks seemed to impact the numbers...

Anyway, here is a video that explains in terms anyone can understand how the Vestibular System works.  Share this with your kids' teachers!

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