Reply To: Constant chewing

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    My name is Beth and I work for Sensory Integration Education and our Sensory Inclusive Schools Project.

    Firstly, I would rule out any medical reasons for the chewing. Head ache, tooth ahce, ear ache etc.

    From a sensory perspective chewing is a regulating behaviour as it is a great source of proprioception.

    Proprioception is our sense of body awareness, and is the brains main regulating system- the brain recieves propriocetive input when we use our muslces to work against resistance by pushing, pulling, stretching, lifting, carrying and chewing.

    It may be that chewing is this students form of regulation. I see so many students coming home with sleeves and ties being chewed to bits!

    Do you notice they chew more then they are challenged with a new learning activitiy, they have to concentrate or when they are super excited?

    The reason for why the student needs to be regulated would need to be unpicked more with some more information about the student.

    You can try and reduce the need to chew by offering more propriocetive opportunites in their day. I have included our propriocetive handout with some ideas…….but this student needs to chew (or they need proprioception) so stopping this without alternative sensory input is not recommended.

    I have also included our handouts to help you identify some other sensory based behaviours in your school.

    Beth (Sensory Inclusive Schools)
    We offer packages of support for schools to train and support the workforce identify and support sensory processing needs at the universal level. This includes online training and direct access to HCPC registered sensory integration practitioners via an online forum and weekly drop in sessions.

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