Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are common neurodevelopmental disorders that affect many children globally. One of the main challenges faced by children with these conditions is sensory processing. Most of them find it difficult to process sensory information from their environment, leading to significant discomfort and distress in everyday life activities. Luckily, sensory chews have become a popular solution in recent years to help alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life for children with autism and ADHD. In this article, we’ll explore what sensory chews are, how they work, and why they’re so effective for children with these disorders.
What are sensory chews?
Sensory chews, also known as chewies, are small devices designed to provide oral sensory stimulation to children. They’re made from non-toxic materials and are specifically meant to be chewed on. The chews come in different shapes, sizes, and textures to cater to different sensory needs. Most of them are made from silicone, rubber, or plastic, and are infused with flavors like mint, fruit, or citrus to make them more appealing to kids. Sensory chews are widely used to help children with autism and ADHD cope with sensory overload, reduce anxiety, improve focus, and relieve oral fixations.
How do sensory chews work?
Sensory chews work by providing a safe and satisfying outlet for children to fulfill their natural impulse to chew on things. Children who have sensory processing difficulties often crave oral stimulation, as it helps to calm and regulate their nervous system. Chewing on a sensory chew can help to satisfy this craving in a safe and controlled manner. It also helps to improve proprioceptive awareness, which is the ability to understand where one’s body is in space. Children can use sensory chews as a coping mechanism to regulate their emotions and improve their focus.
Why are sensory chews effective for children with autism and ADHD?
Sensory chews are highly effective for children with autism and ADHD because of their ability to soothe and calm the nervous system. Chewing on a sensory chew helps to reduce anxiety and stress, which are common symptoms of both disorders. The oral stimulation provided by the chew also helps to improve focus and attention, making it easier for children to concentrate on tasks for longer periods. It’s worth noting that not all children with autism or ADHD benefit from sensory chews, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before introducing them to your child.
How to choose the right sensory chew for your child?
Choosing the right sensory chew for your child depends on their individual sensory needs and preferences. Some children may prefer softer chews, while others may prefer harder ones. Textures and shapes also play a role in deciding which chew is best suited for your child. It’s recommended to start with a few different types of chews to see which one your child responds to best. You should also consider the durability and safety of the chew before purchasing. Always make sure to supervise your child when they’re using a sensory chew, and regularly inspect the device for signs of wear and tear.
Sensory chews are a simple and effective aid for children with autism and ADHD, providing them with a safe and satisfying outlet for their oral sensory needs. Chewing on a sensory chew can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and attention, and calm the nervous system. There are different types of sensory chews available to cater to different preferences and needs. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before introducing any new device to your child. Sensory chews are a great tool to have in your sensory toolkit and can make a significant difference in improving your child’s quality of life.