My son has a lot of sensory needs, one of which being the need to put things in his mouth, constantly.
Anything that he has in his hands, goes in to his mouth. He’s an awful chewer. At school he eats the rubber from the top of the pencils, pulls foam from the floor cushions to eat, chews paper, eats glitter, you name it, he’s tried it.
At home, I often find him chewing, and when I ask what he’s got he will spit little bits of plastic in to his hand and give it to me. He often would sit and pick the leather coating from the computer chair and chew on that. It’s a nightmare, wondering what he’s going to chew on and worrying that he might swallow something and choke on it.
It’s funny that he will chew and eat inedible things, but there are lots of different foods that would make him gag, but that’s another story for another day.
The thing he probably chews most are his clothes. I’ve changed t-shirts before that have been chewed so much they are soaked from the hem up.
When he’s engrossed in something, like his minecraft or skylanders, then chances are his collar will be in his mouth.
This was becoming such a problem that clothes were being chewed and sucked out of shape, so much so that we had to throw them out.
We were recommended by someone at the autism centre that you could get jewellery to chew on. After doing a bit of looking around on the internet, I came across Chewigem, and decided to place and order and see what they were like.
Chewigem make a range of jewellery designed for those that like to chew, so perfect for Neil. They are made from silicon, and are completely non-toxic. They come in a range of styles and colours, and look so much more stylish, and discreet than some of the others I have seen.
Because Neil is such a heavy chewer, we decided on the button pendant, which is new, and a tread bangle.
You may notice that they were supplied in a GumiGem package. Gumigem were the original chewing jewellery, made by Jenny McLaughlan and her husband, for teething babies. They were designed to be worn by parents, and their chidren could chew on them when they were teething. They soon realised that the range was very popular with parents of SEN children, and so started Chewigem alongside. The range’s are the same, they are just marketed a little differently.
They arrived very quickly after I had ordered them, I think it took two days. I loved the packaging, they came in handy little zipped bags which means I can carry them in my bag without them getting dirty.
Neil was very excited to give them a try when they arrived. He loved the colours, they do look pretty funky.
The button pendant is supplied on a long cord, with a quick release safety clasp, so if they get caught they should pull straight off. We bought the button mainly to be used at school, so he could keep it around his neck all day. I like that the cord is long enough that the necklace can be hidden under his jumper if he is not using it, it is very discreet. Neil doesn’t like hiding it away though, which is great.
The bangle I was a bit unsure about, I didn’t know if he would wear a bangle but we thought we’d try him anyway. The colours are fantastic, the one we chose is a wonderful mix of blue, grey, white and black. It is very thick, and has tire treads on it. It feels a bit more sturdy than the necklace, and is perfect for when he’s playing on his tablet at night because that is when he does his heaviest chewing.
We needn’t have worried, he absolutely loves the bangle, more so than the necklace.
It did take his a week or two to get used to using them, he would often sit with the bracelet on and still be chewing his collar or sleeve, but it’s easy to re direct him to the chewigem, and now that he’s had them a while he uses them all of the time.
They really have been a godsend, I’m really pleased to have found something that works for him. They look really cool too, and could be worn as just jewellery even for non chewing children. I am now looking to expand my collection and maybe buy a set of the dog-tags for him.
The Button pendant is new to Chewigem, replacing the old disc pendant’s which were thinner. They are now stocking a range of brand new colours too. Prices start at £5.95, and there is a huge range of styles and colours on their shop, which you can visit here.
You can also view my youtube review:
The lovely Jenny at Chewigem has kindly agreed to run a competition to win a piece of Chewigem jewellery of your choice. Simply enter below for your chance to win.
A winner will be chosen at random on the closing date. If the item you have chosen to win is out of stock, you may be asked to choose something else. All entries will be verified, you must follow the instructions for each entry. For example, if you have entered the facebook entry, you must be following me on facebook for you entry to be valid. Good luck!
Please note, I was not asked to review these products, I bought them myself and chose to review them because I think they are fab, and Neil loves them!