It was such a little problem, but as the months turned to years and we started to prepare for preschool, Micaela’s chewing habit became worrisome.
At first I did what many parents do, I tried to brush it off. I said, “She doesn’t try to eat thing or swallow them, she is just exploring a little.” But, when teachers became concerned with her interaction in the school classroom I realized I needed to “fix” the problem.
I spent months working on the behavior at home. Every time Micaela would start chewing on something I would take it away, talk to her sternly, and hand her something edible. I made no progress. Micaela started going into corners to munch on her favorite textures.
God must have felt the worries of my heart, because he started sending little pieces of the puzzle my way.
First, one of her therapists listened to my concerns and said that Micaela’s chewing wasn’t exploratory, it was more like self-soothing. She pointed out that adults do the same thing with chewing gum.
A friend who teaches DD-Pre was visiting and observed Micaela’. She told me about Oral Motor necklaces. It is something that a child can wear around their neck and chew on whenever they are needing that kind of soothing.
I ordered one right away. When they came in Micaela was interested for a few days and then cast it aside. Her respite care provider mentioned that it was too bad the necklace didn’t have Velcro on it since Micaela loved that texture the most.
I added Velcro to the necklace. Finally, Micaela was set.
Micaela now rarely chews on anything but one of her necklaces if she knows where they are. Yesterday, I placed a couple in her bag and one around her neck before she got on the bus.
I wanted to share this with you, because this problem could not have been solved without the input with others. It required me to be honest with the people around me. How often do we try not to speak of faults or habits because we are embarrassed? What if solutions and invaluable advice are waiting for us? We will never know if we never talk about it.
No one wants to show others their weaknesses. We want to always appear strong and able, but we rarely find healing and solutions while working alone.
If something is holding you back from talking to others about a hurt or habit, ask God to give you the courage and the right person to bring your problem to. Don’t try to solve it alone. Let yourself be loved.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Have you ever received amazing solutions and advice because you had the courage to open up to others?
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