Among school-aged children with learning and behavioral problems, a therapeutic tool found to be helpful is a “chewy.” A chewy is a cylindrical piece of rubber tubing, the ends of which are placed in the mouth and are chewed or sucked on. This behavior appears to have a calming, organizing, and focusing effect on the child. In addition, for some children who put nonedible items in their mouths, a chewy can provide an appropriate sensory substitute or alternative.

A literature review supporting the benefits of oral motor input is discussed. Three case studies of children using a chewy are presented. A discussion follows regarding the therapeutic benefits of the use of a chewy and the consideration of it as part of a child’s sensory diet. Important guidelines regarding the appearance, taste, length, durability, and sanitation of the chewy are reviewed.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.