A therapy-informed review of Chewbeads
If you've read any of our blog articles on choosing the right sensory supports for your child, you'll remember how often we talk about oral sensory input, or using the mouth as a way to help with sensory regulation. Occupational Therapists know that integration of the mouth and the suck, swallow, breathe sequence is critical to promote regulation with children who have sensory processing dysfunction. Chewing, sucking, and blowing are all motor movements that, especially when used safely in conjunction with other sensory activities, can play a key role in helping your child maintain focus, participation, and regulation. During times of transition or periods of uncertainty and anxiety, some children revert to sucking and chewing on clothing, hair, or fingers to self-soothe. While these times may be short-lived, they are an indication that your child needs oral sensory input to self-regulate and we want to give them more appropriate alternatives to do so! We've talked about adding chewy toys, whistles, thick straws, crunchy or chewy foods, and/or bubbles to your sensory tool box for oral sensory seekers, but what happens when your child gets a bit older and a bit more aware of needing something "different?"
For this exact reason, I'm always on the hunt for sensory tools that aren't stigmatizing. Who wants to carry around