Eating his clothes?-may be a little gross, sry

Tina - posted on 01/16/2011 ( 38 moms have responded )

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I thought my autistic 3 year old was just chewing on his clothes. The other day while changing a poopy diaper though, I noticed some string hanging halfway out. when I tried to pull on it, Michael yelled like it hurt, so I decided to leave it and let it come out on it's own. Today, he has been chewing on the neckline of his t-shirt and about a good inch and half is now missing. This can't possibly be good for him...anyone else dealt with this?

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Karen - posted on 03/29/2012

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need help and advice with this too, i have an 8 yr old boy who has actually bitten lumps out of his school jumper sleeves, says he likes chewing the threads, also eats paper and like wet tissue and cotton wool balls, he is a very sensitive little boy and very intelligent, i had him checked for adhd age 5 consultanat said he was fine and didnt want to see him for reveiw, im very stressed as having told him not to chew his jumper he said he wudnt and has come home today with second jumper eaten. HELP!!!! x

DEE - posted on 01/18/2011

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YES MY SON IS 13 AND HAS ASPERGERS HE HAS BEEN DOING THIS SINCE A BABY HE STILL EATS HIS CLOTHES, SHOES, TOYS PECILS METAL ERASRES AND PENCIL YOU NAME IT HE HAS EATEN IT. IT IS CALLED PICA THEY GAVE ME DIFFRENT THINGS FOR HIM TO CHEW ON BUT HE EATS THEM ALL STRWS, TOUNGE DEPRESSERS I AM LOST TOO ON WHAT TO DO HE CHEWS HIS FEET, HANDS YOUR NOT ALONE

Venna - posted on 07/27/2011

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yes!!! absolutely!!! my son who has autism started chewing his neckline as well. and he would not stop. i tried everything!! (he is seven now) finally, at school, he is in an Autism Impaired program, the Occupational Therapist gave him a chewy that he wears clipped to his shirt. i know that may sound weird, but it has worked great. and i dont dont why, but A LOT of ASD children do this "shirt eating thing"....once he started doing it, i immediately started researching it and found it to be VERY common. talked with his teacher, (20yrs teaching) and she also said that, yes, it is very common. i hope i was able to help a little bit.

Sarah - posted on 01/17/2011

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Tina, Chewy Tubes are usually available through websites dealing in therapeutic toys,etc or your OT may have some that you can purchase. There are many varieties. Some come with textures, with flavors, different colors, etc.

Laura - posted on 01/17/2011

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Get him a super chew or some other type of chew toy. My daughter chewed on everything including one of the dog's tail. I put hers on a lanyard with a breakaway feature. She loves it and hasn't chewed on anything else since.

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Leanna - posted on 04/08/2012

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Have you heard of Chewelry? These are special necklaces and bracelets that are okay to chew on as they are non-toxic Many kids with autism like to chew on things just like dogs do.

Mary - posted on 04/07/2012

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This is very normal my 12 yr old with Aspergers has always chewed on everything. He still chews on his shirts, shoelaces, and you can't find a pencil in the house with an eraser.

Stef - posted on 08/01/2011

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my 9yr old (ADHD, LD, n ODD) still does this he eats his cuffs on his jumpers n jackets, when ive mentioned it to his doctors they havnt ever seemed worried ive heard its a sign of anxiety tho

Jamie - posted on 07/21/2011

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My son is ADHD. I catch him chewing on his bed sheets, toys, stuffed animals, anything he can. Today we caught him chewing on a foam baseball bat. I don't know what to do. He will be 8 in a couple of weeks. I don't think it's normal.

MissLola - posted on 07/18/2011

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I'm having the same problem. My son is chewing on every single t-shirts. He is having rashes on his face due to the saliva. I have to change is shirts like about 5 times a day. Any advice?

Venna - posted on 02/12/2011

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yes yes yes, my 7 yr old son chews his collars on his shirts all the time. and constantly chews on his toys. at school, his ot therapist gave him a chewy that is attached by a lanyard and clips to his shirt. alot of times he chews on the lanyard and i am constantly replacing it, but i think thats much better than chewing his shirt. he has ruined sooooo many of them. not sure if its the right thing to do, but i do allow him to chew on his hard toys...i just feel that he really needs to chew, whether its from anxiety to reasons i may never be able to figure out. (he is non verbal). so i say try the chewy, it just may help, hope it does =-)

Samantha - posted on 02/09/2011

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Wow, its not great that this is happening, but great that I am not alone! My DS just turned 5 in Nov. and chewing is his big thing. He is a sensory seeker. When he's seeking he likes rubber or plastic. He uses the Tubes, but his favorite is DVD cases! He's ruined several DVDs also. He loves to look at the cases and the DVDs, I think he is ok, then I find them all chewed up. He liked the razberry brand teethers but they didn't last long. Our OT gave us pieces of aquarium tubing, she would tie a knot in the middle. He would chew on it and get the knot out. I would sterilize them and re-tie them. Those worked great.

When he gets nervous he does chew on his clothes. Coat sleeves, shirt, etc. I haven't ever had a big piece missing but do have holes in shirts. I have several shirts that have impressions like a tie-dye from his chewing, after numerous washings. I hate that he ingested any dye. DH and I kept using pacis for the boys because we called it the 'safety plug' for DS with autism. They are twins, now I have a 5 yr old who tells me 'his paci is special in his heart', lol. I have tried, I don't know how to get him off of the thing! My son with autism doesn't really want anything to do with one but to chew on it sometimes. Thats just when he finds one....

I have heard chewing means they are low in zinc, anyone else heard this?

RaNae - posted on 02/05/2011

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My son finally "outgrew" this. He still loves beef jerky, but it has to be the right kind of jerky.

Shasta - posted on 01/25/2011

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My son is 8 and has Aspergers. He constantly chews on his clothes. I have sent him to school with a brand new tee-shirt and he will come home with the neck-hem missing because he completely chewed it away. He also has a "blankie" that he has had since he was a baby. He can't sleep without it and the corners are all chewed and frayed on that as well. I have tried giving him other things, but they don't work. He always either chews on the collars of his shirts or that little blanket he refuses to live without.

Lisa - posted on 01/24/2011

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my son is nearly 12 and has chewed his clothes for the last 8or 9 years. with him it seems to be an unconcious action as he does it while he is playing. if he is upright he pulls the top of his shirt into his mouth and if he is on the floor playing the top just falls into his mouth. he has started chewing the knee of his pants now as he is often kneeling or on one knee when he reads or plays now. and we have also discovered the ends of sleeves going as well. we have spent endless hours using verbal distractions and have tried chew toys. he doesn't actually like to have the clothes on when he has soaked them thru and every top he has ends up riddled with holes. he spends most of the time at home with no top on as we are constantly running out and always have to take a spare when we go out. For conor it is not an anxiety thing but more a comfort or an unconcious action. there are some battles you can win and some you just have to accept defeat. its not the worst thing in the world to live with but can be expensive in the clothing department.

Kathy - posted on 01/23/2011

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yeh, my son was finally diagnosed at 11 yrs but we moved around with the forces so evry time we went some where new he was put on a new waiting list! He was 'suspected' for a long while...I had to learn to 'grow up with it' if u know what I mean and develop coping strategies but we had (and still have at times) tough times esp with a very strong willed older sibling...

Tanya - posted on 01/22/2011

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Yip, been there, although with my son it was eating the stuffing out of his pillow. He sneezed one day and it ended up in his nose. We went to the Dr who said it was too far up for him to reach so it was off to the Hospital for it to be pulled out. Not a pleasant night for anyone involved as he had no idea what was going on and screamed the place down. This happened a total of 2 times and I guess he realised what happens when you eat things that are not edible as he never did it again and we made sure he couldn't do it by sewing his pillow into the case. I would say it's just a phase as it was with my son but you can only tell with time. Try everything possible and if he's still doing it then I would suggest seeing a Dr. about it as a really big amount could block him up and potentially be harmful. Good luck.

Laura - posted on 01/22/2011

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I wish, wish, wish, I knew all of this years ago. It is totally a sensory issue. The input they recieve through the pressure of their jaw is calming :)
I told my doctor that my son had chewed on everything...even completely through a soda can. He said it may be pica and my son lost out on years of help.....he was never diagnosed until last week. He's 7. Looking back, knowing what I know, it really ticks me off. My son never made eye contact or talked with the Pedi and I brought up the intense chewing problem? Why the ignorance? Aren't they trained to recognize these red flags?

Kathy - posted on 01/20/2011

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feel same as you, Laura, I wish I'd known about those chew sticks when my boy was younger...

Kathy - posted on 01/20/2011

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yeh, my son was the same, he would chew almost everything but especially clothes (necklines, collars, sleeves even pulling his top up to chew the middle. It could have been a sensory thing- he was over sensory (ie needed to touch and smell things and taste I guess...) it could have also been a stress thing. Some autistic children get stressed very easily, he's one of them. (He's now 15) Kathy Lane

Laura - posted on 01/19/2011

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Yes. He's just trying to meet his sensory needs. Try offering beef jerky, gum, or chew sticks they sell online just for this purpose......it's like a big kid teether. I wish I knew about these things a long time ago!

Michele - posted on 01/19/2011

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Lots of postings, great ones, for diversions. Had the same experiences with my son when he was that age. Now that he's older....I learned that most of it has t odo with anxiety. While the distractions are great, it might be worth a look to see whats behind it. Do you have an aba therapist? If so, start looking for the anticedant to the behavior. Good luck :-)

Jessica - posted on 01/19/2011

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Tina, my son is 4 he has a special blanket that he is attached to that is chewed all to heck and back again I have found strings in his poo from that blanket. He chews his shirts if he has one on. He never put anything other than that blanket in his mouth when he was little and now he has started chewing on pencils, pen tops, straws, his sippy cups wow we have been through sooo many of those because he chews the nipple right off even the hard plastic nipples. I got him a chew toy from Ebay and it was great. Your not alone in this though, it's tough. My son has chipped teeth from doing this but that chew toy keeps him from breaking his teeth. It's almost like a dogs chew toy those rubber like ones that they can't chew all the way through.

Lynn - posted on 01/19/2011

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That's awesome! The only thing is, in this case sugar counts as fruit sugar and carbs (which convert to sugar in your body). It's nearly impossible to get rid of all sugar from one's diet but if you stick to whole grains and serve water or watered down juice you can reduce it a lot. Raisins and blueberries have a lot of sugar. Strawberries, pineapples, and cranberries are low in sugar. And apples, oranges, and bananas have a medium amount of sugar. I know a lot of ASD kids will only eat white foods (all carb sugar) so it's hard but if you want to do a little experiment see how he does by slowly replacing the sugar foods with meat, veggies, and low sugar fruits--if he will eat them that is--and see what happens.

Tina - posted on 01/19/2011

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yeah, escept I don't give Michael any sugar. If I do, woooweee!! He is already super hyper and ANY sugar at all causes him to go out of control. I only give him 100% fruit juice with no sugar added, and no candy unless it's a VERY special occasion (like a haircut,lol)

Lynn - posted on 01/19/2011

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My son who is 5 and has a PDD-NOS has started chewing on his shirt sleeves about 2 months ago. I asked our nutritionist about this and she said it was due to too much sugar in his diet. We already had him on Candidase but were giving him extra treats during the holidays so it made perfect sense. I hope this helps.

Tina - posted on 01/18/2011

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I havent h ad to clip his fingernails in 2 years. he chews them off. If it's cause something is missing from his diet, well...hmmm. He is so texture sensitive!! i can barely get him to eat any food. His Dr told me to start giving him carnation instant breakfast or pediasure to supplement what he needs. I think the clothes chewing has caused him to break a tooth. i need to take him to the dentist. thank you everyone. i am going to try the chew toys (sounds like a puppy, lol)

Christina - posted on 01/18/2011

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You are not alone. My son also eats his clothes and paper. There's really not much you can do about it short of making him go naked. I always keep track of bowel movements though so if he ends up not going for a couple of days I know to take him to a doctor to see if there's an obstruction. That has never happened though.

Mindy - posted on 01/18/2011

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My son used to eat hair and string. It would come out in the diaper. My doctor said it was fine, but if he every has sharp tummy pain to bring him to an ER right away (could be a bowell abstruction). Also, his chewing could be pica (a sign that something is missing from his diet).

Larae - posted on 01/18/2011

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If you are looking for a variety of relatively inexpensive chew toys, check out the local pet store. Many teething rings are not intended to be chewed on with molars. At the pet store the toys are non-toxic and have a stronger resistence that can hold up to the pressure of more mature teeth grinding on them. Take your child with you and have him choose some items he is interested in. I'm not encouraging the large squeeky balls or other such items but they do carry rings and a variety textures and densities.
The break away lanyards are also great for keeping the item readily available.

Essie - posted on 01/18/2011

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my son who is now 9, chews on his shirt and grasp both his hands into a fist when he's frustrated....he's done this since he was about 3 yrs old, its a good sign that something is wrong and they aren't sure how to express it, perhaps this is whats happening to your lil boy but he's taken it a step ahead and is eatting pieces of the shirt. maybe hes just not sure how to express how hes feeling. just a suggestion. hope it helps.

Connie - posted on 01/18/2011

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Yes...My autistic son used to ALWAYS chew on his necklines and ruined every shirt we had for him in time. I say always carry extra shirts and also try to find some where the collar is not up too high near his neck. Tank tops in summer helped some.

Wendy - posted on 01/18/2011

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Blowing bubbles, chewing gum, chew tubes, and even a plastic chew necklace can help if this is being done for sensory reasons. You may need to determine if this is a pica issue also. Is he cutting teeth? If so, i have used a vibrating toothbrush before to help with this issue.

Laura - posted on 01/18/2011

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You can even find them on e-bay. That's where I got mine and I paid $5 shipping included!

Tina - posted on 01/17/2011

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Thanks! i will try them. Although he doesn't usually put things in his mouth..I hope they will work!!

Judi - posted on 01/17/2011

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Chewy tubes, are awesome it saves the shirts, pillows, cushions, tails. and they are tough not like Dummies that only last 5 seconds before theres a hole in them.

Katherine - posted on 01/17/2011

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Not gross at all. If you need help with something like this, this is definitely where you want to post. I think Laura has a great idea.

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