Monday, April 11, 2011

How to work out stress...or why he has wet shirts

This time of year seems to be the most difficult for all students, they've been cooped up inside, they haven't had outdoor recess in months and though it's finally, usually, warming up, the rain has started.  Add to that the fact that March has few, if any, days off from school (and Easter isn't until the END of April this year) and the kids are going CRAZY!

For a child with special needs, it's even worse.  They react to how the other students are acting and that makes their stress level (and behaviors) go up...a lot.

At our house, Kid Jedi is acting up more.  He's not listening, he's having a difficult time following directions and he's chewing on the sleeves and necks of his shirts.  Now the chewing on shirts is a common thing in our home, he says it's to exercise his jaw (or teeth depending upon the day), but this time of year it gets a lot worse, and this year is worse than last year.  One day a couple of weeks ago, he came home with a different shirt on than the one we sent him in to school.  And yet another one was in his backpack, so he went through 2 shirts, and the one he came home in was really wet too.

In some cases, you could send your child to school with a chewy, or even have the provision for chewing gum added to your child's 504 or IEP.  But a chewy is too conspicuous in a mainstream classroom, and our concern with one that goes on the end of a pencil is that Kid Jedi would then chew on erasers.  Gum is something that Kid Jedi has absolutely no interest in chewing (I guess his shirts taste better).

It would be easy to just have him wear short-sleeved shirts if, like last year, it was just the sleeves that he chewed on, but with him chewing on the neckline or buttons on his shirt too, it isn't as easily remedied.  We do a lot of redirection, but as soon as he stops, he starts all over again.  We do understand that this is really a sensory and stress issue and that First Grade is a lot more difficult than Kindergarten, but I can't afford him ruining all his shirts.

Well, we'll either find a solution, or Kid Jedi will be wearing the same few shirts to school every day until he stops chewing on them.  Oh, and his aide has already banned one shirt because of how much he chewed on it!

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Dawn said...

Hugz Renee......Only way I can help is by answering the phone....wish I knew more and could help somehow.

Lynda said...

I am praying for you Renee. If it makes you feel better my son does not have any special needs, but he chewed the sleeves of his shirts for two years. He still has a "blanky" at 9 yr old, and is constantly chewing on it.

I think for my son it is a comfort thing, and possibly a vitamin deficiency. I have heard other parents tell stories of their children chewing on clothes too. It is hard on the pocketbook and nerves though. Hopefully your son gets over it soon, or finds another way to find comfort.

God bless you!

Tracy said...

HI Renee,
I can't imagine how frustrating this must be. My oldest doesn't have ADHD, but when she was a baby she chewed through the darker outer wood of her crib rail to show the lighter wood underneath! Then we wrapped towels around the wood rails to stop her from eating wood and she then began eating the towels! It's humorous now, but at the time, it was frustrating and bothersome! I hope you are able to find a solution to the shirt problem. God bless and thank you for sharing your post on NOBH!

Lynda said...

Renee, I hope you and your son are doing better. I just wanted to stop by to let you know your blog is featured this week as A Shining Blog. I even made you a button for your sidebar if you want it. Congratulations, and know that my prayers are with you.