Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Oral fixations

Zhenya's behavior has improved greatly over the past few days. He has only lost one clothespin each day and for minor issues. I love routine and I know my boys do too!

However, today I got a phone call from Dima's teacher. Sigh. He actually wasn't exactly in trouble (although I think he should have been). She had noticed him chewing on something, and when she asked him to open his mouth she saw something which he quickly swallowed. He refused to tell her what it was, although he told her it wasn't gum and it wasn't candy. She was just concerned because she didn't know what it was and she was afraid he would get sick.

Fast forward to home. I sit down and have a talk with Dima about the "something-in-your-mouth" episode at school. Talks like this are always a challenge, because his expressive skills are so limited that he may actually not be able to tell me what he put in his mouth (because he doesn't actually know the word for whatever it was). I asked a lot of yes/no questions, partly to try and figure out what had happened and also to help give him some words he might have been lacking. No luck. So he had to go sit in his room until he was ready to tell me what he had put in his mouth.

I went into his room a couple of times to see if he was ready to 'fess up and he finally caved. ;) He said he had gotten something "sticky" off of Ms. B's desk. Want to know what it was? Sticky tack. Sigh. My son ate sticky tack yesterday. This was absolutely no surprise to me, as pretty much whatever is in Dima's hands ends up in his mouth. He doesn't usually actually chew on things, just sticks them there (like the end of his pencil when he's working on homework). We had an extensive discussion about not putting things in his mouth that are not food, particularly because they can make you sick (I made sure to throw in a reference to the throwing-up incident in Colorado to remind him of what happens when your stomach gets sick!). I know why it happened--they had indoor recess in their classroom yesterday, which they've never done before, and the chaos and confusion was more than the boy could take. Chewing his fingernails (or whatever else happens to be in his mouth) is his self-comfort. Still, we can't have him eating sticky tack.

I also spent a very long time on the phone with a speech therapist at Children's Hospital. We've scheduled a brief speech eval (yes, another one) for insurance purposes next week. Hopefully as soon as that is done we can get him started on some therapy!


Julie said...

Michael is totally like that too! In fact, I just had a conversation with his teacher this morning as to why Michael is the only student in his class that isn't allowed to have 2 brand new pencils at his desk. Apparently he chews them. Even swallows pieces. So, he writes with this half size pencil with no eraser. No wonder his penmanship stinks!

Tami said...

YEA! On the speech therapy!!! Are you going to double dip on the therapy and have the school district help as well? Its an option. That's what we were going to do for Maddie before we moved. I found out a few weeks before Shad accepted his job, that our health insurance would cover a certain number of speech sessions.
Thankfully we now live in a pretty good district with a strong special ed dept.
Dima sounds a lot like Nick...actually both boys sound a lot like Nick. But the putting stuff in his mouth stuff is just like Nick...and Alek...and Anya. All of my kids have gone through this 'stage'. I call it a stage only because they eventually came out of it. It has something to do with sensory issues and after awhile the kids all stopped. Except for Nick.
Nick chews on his sleeves...his pencils...he tore a piece off of his tennis shoes the other day during library time at school and chewed it the rest of the afternoon. (Who knows where his teacher was!) All of the kids have a problem with chewing their nails as well...even Maddie.
If you find the wonder-cure, let me know. Please?! :)

Tami said...
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MamaPoRuski said...

So scary! Z sucks on the back of his fists, or whatever he can put in his mouth. Usually when he is overwhelmed or tired. He too doesn't even realize he is doing it. He told us when we first got home that the orphanage would put socks on the children's hands at night so they couldn't suck their fingers! Let me know if you find a way to make him aware, maybe it will help Z too!