Many children have a fascination with chewing. They chew chair backs, clothing, their fingers, your fingers; anything they can latch between their teeth. This presents a special problem if your child is autistic. Parents simply tell most children to stop and eventually they break the habit, an autistic child may always want to chew. A Chewy Tube gives them something to bite that is safe and sturdy.
What is a Chewy Tube?
Technically a Chewy Tube is an oral motor device. That is just a fancy way of saying it something that your child can chew on to work the muscles in the jaw. In fact, that was the initial purpose of the tubes. Creator Mary Cushing envisioned the tubes as rehabilitation devices for stroke victims or anyone with low jaw muscle tone. Mary made the tubes flexible to provide the tendons and muscles responsible for jaw movement a workout.
Chewy Tubes are hollow inside; hence, the name, but they have handles with ridges for firm griping. The chew portion, or tube, is small enough to prevent choking. Some versions have textured areas on the chew section for children who like the rough surface. The color of the tubes represents a different diameter and strength. For example, red tubes are a medium size.
Chewy Tubes do exactly what they are supposed to do – work the jaw muscles. The process of creating speech is complex. It involves breath control, the ability to articulate and phonics. All three depend on strong jaw muscles. Autistic children can have inappropriate oral behavior such as biting or spitting. Using a Chewy Tube works to build muscles and provides distraction.
Chewy Tubes should be for individual use only. Do not pass around one tube from child to child. Tubes are not proper for children under the age of 9 months. You should only give your child a tube if an adult is around to supervise.
Chewy Tubes are a safe devices that allows children to bite on something that doesn’t cause damage or pain. Each Chewy Tube is made from nontoxic, latex free material. They come in a variety of sizes and vibrant colors to create a visual stimulus, as well as an oral motor tool.