A new tactic?

Mad-Hatter eats paper.. There’s a sentence I never thought I would write. He eats it ALOT. All kinds. He even stims and squeals in excitement when we bring out a new roll of paper towels. We have never been able to break this habit or do anything to get him to seek this input elsewhere. His OT feels that it is a sensory seeking behavior. We have most doors on our main floor locked from the outside and carry around a set of keys to open doors. It seems to be the only way to keep the older children’s rooms safe and off limits to the little book eater.

We have been trying for a week or two to leave the bathroom door unlocked so that we can teach Moose to use the potty. This is not going well at all. He has eaten and ripped apart at least one roll of toilet paper per day since we started our “open doors” campaign. Yesterday we decided the mission must be aborted. He just isn’t ready. Anyone with ideas or help would be appreciated here.

Mad was chewing on some TP saturday and I was at my wits end. I finally just asked him WHY he eats paper. He answered in his squeaky, high pitched voice “Cu I bi!” Which translates to “cause I bite!” Well, DUH. I asked why he bites. He looked at me for a minute (ok, ok. He looked at my forehead, but heck… it was at ME), “cu i fea va va gu!” (Cause it feels very very good!). Ah.. um.. well… ok, then.

People, he actually answered me! A sentence, about how he feels! That’s huge. Not particularly helpful, but huge.

We have tried so very many things to help him get his sensory input. Brushing, deep tissue pressure.. e-v-e-r-y-thing. Nothing is helping. If you tell him, not to eat paper, that paper isn’t for eating, he answers “oh!”  and spits it out into your hand. But then he does it again a minute or two later.

Sometimes I think he is screwing with me. Seriously, anyone been down this road?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lynnes
    Mar 25, 2011 @ 11:14:45

    Is Mad Hatter old enough to chew gum? G chewed all kinds of inappropriate things, toys, sippy cup lids, his crib railings (he’d turn to the parts without the guard and chewed the wood), an antique bed passed down through DH’s family. When he was 5, we went over the rules of chewing sugar-free gum so he knew not to swallow and to save his wrapper for disposal, and things really turned around for us. He gets the sensory input he’s looking for in a socially appropriate way. And we’ve found gum to be a short-term calming technique when he’s getting frustrated with long car rides or waiting in boring lines! His teachers keep gum for him so when he’s doing a boring assignment and starting to get fidgety, they pass him a piece and get another 15-20 minutes of concentration from him.


  2. Julia
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 18:55:16

    you posted this months ago so maybe you’ve already found a solution…but if not…have you tried “Chew Stixx” made by Sensory University? They come in different “flavors”. My son loves them, and they keep him from chewing holes in his sleeves.


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