informational

Product Write Ups

What Kind of Chewer Are You?

Many of the product descriptions for Stimtastic's chewable jewelry mention the level of chewing that the piece is suitable for. But how do you know what kind of chewer you are?

Generally we describe the levels of chewing as light, moderate or aggressive.

You are an aggressive chewer if you often destroy objects, such as pens, pencils, erasers or clothing by chewing on them. You're a light chewer, in contrast, if you leave some tooth marks on those types of objects when chewing or if you find yourself putting objects in your mouth without necessarily biting down on them. You're a moderate chewer if you fall somewhere between the two--sometimes damaging objects by chewing on them but not regularly shredding objects to pieces.

 

Aggressive Chewing

For aggressive chewers, we recommend pendants that are very thick (such as the Phoenix) or that have a wide, thick section (such as the Annular, Mushroom or Droplet Pendants) which stands up longer to heavy chewing. Ultimately any silicone piece will be broken down by aggressive chewing, but choosing the right piece for your chewing style can maximize the life of your chewable.

The cuff bracelet (left) is also a good option for aggressive chewers who bite their wrists or hands. The wide, cuff style bracelet is durable and provides a convenient, protective layer over the skin of the wrist or arm. 

 

 

Moderate Chewing

For moderate chewers, we recommend our more compact pendants (such as the Alien or the Kleintastic) and our medium weight Faceted bracelet. Of course moderate chewers may also enjoy the pendants designed for aggressive chewers, particularly if they are looking for the kind of feedback that a firmer or denser piece provides. Many of our handheld chewables are also suitable for moderate chewers. 

Thanks to it's flat woven structure, the Braid pendant is able to accommodate moderate to heavy chewing, while still creating an understated look.

Thanks to it's flat woven structure, the Braid pendant is able to accommodate moderate to heavy chewing, while still creating an understated look.

 

Light Chewing

For light chewers, we recommend one of our smaller or softer chewables such as the Dulcimer or Trapezoid pendants.  Many of our lighter pendants are also suitable for those who are looking for oral sensory feedback without chewing (for example, having a clean, safe object to suck on or hold in the mouth without chewing).

The slim profile of the Trapezoid pendant makes it suitable for light chewers or those who are oral sensory seekers. 

The slim profile of the Trapezoid pendant makes it suitable for light chewers or those who are oral sensory seekers. 

 

Does your chewing style vary? Check out the No Gloom 'Shroom. With a thick durable umbrella and a contoured flexible stem, it provides options for light to aggressive chewing. The stem is also ideal for sucking on. 

Stimtastic News

Stimming as a Coping Tool for Holiday Stress

This is a short excerpt from an interview posted at Connect, an online social network for autistic people and their families. 

 

Do you have any advice for parents of autistic children who find the season difficult?

I'm sure most parents already have many strategies, like giving a child plenty of notice about schedule changes and watching for sensory overload during social events or shopping trips.

What I'd add to that is the idea that autistic children have a lot of "built-in" resources. They can be remarkably good at self-regulating if they have the opportunity. For example, a lot of kids will instinctively know when they need to move to a quieter room at family gatherings to prevent an overload-induced meltdown. Parents can help them out by designating a quiet room and explicitly giving the child permission to go there whenever they need to.

This sounds like a small accommodation but it can increase a child's sense of control in unfamiliar or difficult situations and help them build coping skills--like being in tune with their body's signals and advocating for themselves-which they'll use for the rest of their lives. In the immediate term, accommodations also conserve cognitive resources, extending the child's capacity for other activities.

Similarly, most autistic kids will stim more when they're excited or stressed and that's an instinctive therapeutic response that helps them cope with those strong feelings. I remember as a kid always taking along my Silly Putty or Rubik's Cube on outings so I would have something to keep my hands busy. It's very calming and even as an adult, I find that having something close at hand to stim with allows me to enjoy social situations for a longer period of time. In that way, stimming is both a distraction from environmental stressors and a way of focusing internally.

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