Anyone who knows me well, knows my thoughts of pacifiers being used with children over the age of one. I'm all for parents doing what they feel is best and necessary for their kids, but I don't want to see it. I especially don't want to see a four year old hanging out at a store sucking on a paci. It's just gross to me. I honestly don't know where my intolerance for pacis has come from, but trust me, nothing sets me off quicker than seeing a paci in a child's mouth (I have no issues when the child is less than one).
Anyway... it's related to what I'm about to share (trust me). Last week when we found out about the SPD- SS diagnosis, I made it a point to do as much research and reading as possible on the topic. I talked to my friend Melanie (an OT) and asked about some suggestions and whatnot for Gus. One of the things that he does excessively is chewing on/sucking on his shirts. He has the collar portion of his shirts in his mouth at all times.
I told Melanie about this and that we have to tell him to stop chewing on his shirts. She said that a lot of the time, it's an instant way for him to regulate his sensory system. Her explanation made total sense, and I asked her for some suggestions. She gave me the link to a few therapy sites and I was able to get some different things to try with Gus (not just for the chewing).
One thing that I found on Amazon, in the "chewelry" department is this elephant necklace. The idea is that the child wears the necklace and then chews on the trunk of the elephant. It's supposed to be like chewing on a shirt and the elephant and necklace is made of shirt material. I figured I'd give it a shot.
Well... today Gus chose not to nap (AGAIN-- grrrrrr) and decided that he wanted to hang out with me all afternoon. I had some things to do on the computer, so he brought his chair and iPad into the office and sat and played while I worked on some things (like ordering our tickets for Disney eeeekkk!!!).
Enjoying some popcorn for a snack
Then the mailman came and I went to get the mail. He delivered a package from Amazon. I knew immediately that one of Gus's Christmas gifts was inside, but so was the elephant chewelry. I carefully pulled out the necklace and showed it to him. He was hesitant to put it on, but once I explained that he can chew/suck on it, he was so happy!
Checking out the elephant
Into his mouth it went and we began popping the packing bags that came with the box
So happy with his elephant
He (obviously) loves the necklace. It's better for him to chew/suck on that and let us throw it into the wash, than to constantly be nagging him to stop chewing on his shirts. However, Steve made a comment about it looking like a paci and I have to admit, that it DOES. It's NOT a paci and not being used with the same purpose as a paci, but it does irk me a little. I guess it's a matter of me getting over my issues and just being elated that we've provided him with something that can help regulate him.
I don't plan on taking the elephant out in public, but it'll be used around the house for sure. We have one other piece of chewelry coming for him to try and if he likes that one, we'll use it in public as needed.