Girl Tribe review of Ninja Babies chewy necklace.
(Jessica from Girl Tribe – www.girltribe.net )
I’ve been asked a few times in the last week about Wilding’s chewy necklace that she wore to Kindy so I thought I’d take the time to explain a bit about the role of it within her life and the reason why some people with autism like to chew stuff.
When neurotypical people collect information from their daily life, it is sent back to the brain and reorganised throughout sensory channels before the individual responds accordingly for themselves. Some of the senses are taste, touch, smell, sight and also sound but a sense that is often forgotten about is one called proprioception which is the way the body responds and senses movement and force of gravity through the muscles and joints.
People with autism do not regulate sensory input well, often times under-acting to some things or over-reacting to others (hypo sensitive vs. hypersensitive).
When sensory input is not managed well, problems can come up in areas such as behaviour, development and even attention and ability to focus.
In really simple terms: before correct sensory measures are taken you have a big traffic jam, and correct sensory input means the traffic is flowing freely without any holdups.
Everyone with autism has unique sensory preferences. Everyone is different.
So anyway. One issue that can arise when sensory regulation is not adequate is chewing. Kids in particular can chew clothes, buckles, seat belts. It can be destructive, but they do it because it keeps them calm, helps with anxiety and helps them concentrate or focus and block out overwhelming external stimuli.
That’s where chewy jewellery comes in! It’s a non-toxic non-destructive way for wilding to get her chewy needs met and also gain the proprioceptive sensory input she is seeking.
Upon sourcing a local supplier for a few necklaces for wilding I came upon Ninja Babies and bought a few. They’re a huge hit with wilding as she likes the colour and feel of them, and uses them willingly.
We have found chewing to be especially beneficial in the following situations:
- in the car. wilding is often very loud with vocal stimming (making loud noises, repeatedly, as a means of self-calming) in the car and when she has a chewy necklace readily available to her she uses this for oral input which has a much less negative affect on the other 4-5 people also travelling in the car.
- during times of transition where anxiety may be present: kindergarten drop off especially.
- waiting times: waiting for things to start, people to arrive, things to finish, people to leave.
The service at Ninja Babies was great: fast delivery (hand delivered in my case, thanks to living locally!) and a great range. They have products available for a wide range of chewers catering from mild to severe in terms of chomping. There are patterns and shapes to suit both sexes and interests, too. The chewy jewellery comes in both bracelets/bangles & necklaces, and also pencil toppers which is pretty nifty! They post Australia-wide and the items can also be used as breastfeeding necklaces & teething aides.
Check them out!