If you’re a parent, caregiver, relative, or loved one of a child with ADHD, you’re probably aware that the diagnosis rarely comes without an additional diagnosis piggybacking right along. Due to the way ADHD manifests, behavioral issues usually go hand-in-hand with ADHD. Some of those behaviors may be: oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, anxiety, restlessness, and even body-focused, repetitive behaviors or BFRBs. The most prevalent BFRBs are dermatophagia (skin nibbling), trichotillomania (hair pulling), dermatillomania (skin picking), onychophagia (nail biting), rhinotillexomania (compulsive nose picking), as well as cheek biting. As your child’s advocate, you can introduce a chewing device that provides a better, safer alternative that may keep your child from other self destructive or object destructive behaviors.
People with ADHD often feel a strong urge towards oral chewing or stimulation. Chewing behavior acts as a coping mechanism and a way to calm anxiety or channel excess energy. It’s important to encourage safe chewing if it’s something your child is inclined to do, but chewing can be inappropriate and unsafe.
You’re probably used to seeing chewed pens, pencils, shirt sleeves/collars, cords, fingernails, skin, or the inside of a cheek. This is where the chewing becomes destructive, disruptive, and dangerous. Additionally, a lot of these items can be unsafe or expensive to replace.
Another concern is bullying or being teased for chewing on items. There is a real need for discreet chewing items that are safe and do not call attention to the chewer. As your child’s caregiver you need to consider the benefits of providing a safe, discreet chew vs. not allowing or discouraging the chewing behavior which may lead to acting out poor behaviors in a less desirable way- chewing inappropriate items, outbursts, aggression, loud fidgeting or even a melt-down.
It is important to monitor the child to make sure they are not hurting themselves in BFRB behaviors. It has long been thought that BFRBs were related to OCD but it has been seen in practice that kids with ADHD have or are predisposed to developing BFRBs. This is likely because kids with ADHD have poor impulse control which is a hallmark of BFRBs. They don’t want to do it, but they cannot stop themselves. Sometimes not stopping until the pain of chewing through the skin occurs.
If you have a child with ADHD and they are chewing on unsafe and/or unclean items, or if they have a BFRB, it may be prudent to offer them a better, safer, cleaner chewing alternative. A chew device may give the child the relief they are seeking without harming themselves or destroying property. It may also alleviate the BFRB, minimize it, or in some cases prevent the development of this habit.
Chubuddy makes chews for every kind of chewer that calm and satisfy. The all new Cord Zilla is a super discreet and super satisfying cord chew that fits on your child’s favorite hoodie.