We Love Chewigem

So, I’m probably a tad bit abnormally excited about this post! This product, has become such an essential part of Maddox’s life though. A complete life saver for us.

Quick back story, and I talked a bit in my Sensory Super Powers Post, about Sensory Processing Disorder, what it is, and how it can effect kids/adults. So if you haven’t read it yet, please do! I also talked about how Maddox is a big chewer in that post.

So with sensory processing disorder, you can be an oral sensory seeker or avoider. In Maddox’s case, he’s a little bit of both! He is a super super picky eater, hates textures of pretty much everything. At the same he is a huge oral sensory seeker. So he bites things, likes to chew on things, always doing something with his mouth.

I think I started noticing it at a very young age but honestly didn’t think anything of it. He chewed through every pacifier, every bottle nipple, and the rubber sippy cup tops. He was my first child, so honestly I just assumed that was normal. Then they’re teething so it all seems like the norm!

Well 7 years later, and chewing is still a major part of his life. He will chew his clothes, his arms, fingers, and his hair. For him it’s boredom, sensory seeking, sensory overload, anxiety, and concentration. Chewing helps him concentrate and keeps his mind busy. So I obviously didn’t want my child chewing on his fingers, and getting germs, chewing his hair ( which smelled like shit), or chewing his clothing. So I googled, and TADAAAA… there’s Chewy Necklaces. Absolute LIFESAVERS.

Seriously, I couldn’t be more excited about a company, and a product if I tried!!! There’s not only chewy necklaces, but chewy bracelets, fidgets, and more.

Chewigem was amazing enough to send Maddox this Chewigem discovery box, and it’s the absolute coolest thing ever. Seeing your child’s face light up over receiving this box, and all the items in it, was absolutely heart warming.

You can buy each item individually, or you can purchase their Sensory box and join a 30 day sensory discovery program. Which I personally think is amazing, because it helps your child or yourself change your habits. It’s a transition to change from chewing on what you’re “used to” as opposed to your new chewelry which is a much safer habit. In this box, comes 4-6 hand picked sensory aids, a 30 day success program diary, and you’re able to join their community for help and support.

I am a huge sucker for packaging, and everything about this box was perfect! I mean how cute!?

In Maddox’s box he received the Tread Bangle, Wave bangle, Hexichew, Button necklace, Skull necklace, and a chewipal strap. If you’re new to this, trying to figure out exactly what suits your child best, then I highly suggest getting the box. It’s all so different, so appealing aesthetically as well, and can really help your child figure out exactly what’s best for them. On their site, on each item they also give you the level of durability, flexibility, and firmness. So it really helps when choosing a product based on how moderate to severe of a chewer you have.

The Tread Bangle and Wave bangle 🙂

Maddox REALLY loved the Hexichew! He can chew it or play with it as a fidget which he thought was awesome.

So we own a few of the Skull necklaces already, and he received another which he was SO excited about, but he has actually been wearing the Button necklace since his package arrived. It feels different than the skull necklace. It’s a bit harder material and a different texture, which he’s really loving.

These products have literally gotten him through the school year. If it wasn’t for Chewy necklaces, he would have torn up clothes, arms, and would still have yucky hair! Since we started using necklaces, all that has gone away, and he’s formed the habit of knowing if he feels the urge to chew he has his Chewelry.

I really hope this post was informative, and also showed you just how happy something so little can make your child. I couldn’t thank Chewigem enough for making these products, and helping the world unlock their sensory seeking powers!

To check out these items I urge you to go to

Chewigem UK

Chewigem USA

Also check out their Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/chewigem/

And Instagram

@chewigem

the start of summer.. frost science museum

Summer just began, and if your kids are anything like mine, you have to be on the go 247!

My kids love to keep busy, and they really love museums. So our first big stop of the summer was the Frost Science museum in Miami. They went once when it first opened, but haven’t been since, so they were beyond excited.

We got there at opening so it was super empty at first!

There was sooo much to do, for every age. Variety of hands on activities, things to watch, and things to be engaged in.

It gets gross out over summer in Florida, and today was a rainy day, so this was the perfect day to spend hours at a museum!

http://www.frostscience.org

Our life with Sensory Processing SUPER POWERS ;)

Some days I feel defeated.

My son has sensory processing disorder, and adhd.

It feels like it takes over 90% of my life. A lot of the time I feel absolutely defeated. I constantly worry if he’s getting too much sensory input, or not enough. If he will seek sensory, or go into sensory overload. Will things be too loud for him? Will lights bother him? Will he freak out over textures of food, paper, and objects?

First let me say we have overcome so much. MADDOX has overcome so much. He’s strong, determined, beyond smart, and amazing.

But I won’t lie, some days are hard. Really hard.

When Maddox was little we thought he had silly little quirks. He started speaking full sentences at 10 months old, so we knew he was extremely bright. So hey smart people are quirky right?! He knew his alphabet, shapes, and colors by 1 1/2. He could verbalize anything and everything to us. His quirks were different though, I could just tell something was different. Touching his hair was like there was a murder happening. He hated allllll food. Everything made him gag. He hated the feeling of things. He constantly covered his ears because anything and everything was too loud for him. Warm to us, is scolding hot for him. He couldn’t be alone ever, he had severe separation anxiety. The list could go on and on. When preschool started was when we really noticed differences, his teacher noticed too. We had already been in occupational therapy for the last year for Sensory processing disorder, but we decided to have him psychologically evaluated at age 5 1/2.

At 5 1/2 we found out his iq was 140. He’s brilliant. We also found out 100% he has sensory processing disorder. Which duh we knew 😉

Over the years his SPD has peaked. It’s constantly changing. Let me explain what sensory processing disorder is.

“Sensory processing (originally called “sensory integration dysfunction” or SID) refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are biting into a sandwich, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires accurate processing of sensation.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), exists when sensory signals are either not detected or don’t get organized into appropriate responses. Pioneering occupational therapist, educational psychologist, and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, likened SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks.”

“Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder, like those of most disorders, occur within a broad spectrum of severity. While most of us have occasional difficulties processing sensory information, for children, adolescents, and adults with SPD, these difficulties are chronic, and they can significantly disrupt everyday life.”

(https://www.spdstar.org/basic/about-spd)

So for Maddox these are some of his main spd “symptoms”

He chews, a lot. If he’s in overload, if he’s seeking, if he’s worried, if he’s having anxiety from SPD. When you have spd you worry a lot, you don’t know what will happen next that will make you feel uneasy. He would come home with bite marks on his arms, or chewed up Hair. What really helps him is chewy necklaces. I highly highly suggest them. Search amazon and there’s all types of cute ones! We have a collection 😉

He wiggles a lot. A LOOOOOOT. His body is in constant motion. So when doing work something that helps him is his weighted blanket. An angel gifted us one, they’re pretty pricey, but you can google and find cute ones!,

A main area of pain for him is his hair. He refuses to cut it, and he hates brushing it of course. For him it’s extreme pain. Lots and lots of conditioner and a wet brush, and LOTS OF PATIENCE. ( which is difficult with a kid screaming bloody murder ).

Recently we just got a Schkidule visual schedule! Maddox is really visual, and if he sees in order what he has to do he has no reason to worry. He really enjoys that independence and knowing he’s doing the right thing.

https://www.schkidules.com

Also, lots of therapy! Don’t be ashamed to ask, and get help. Maddox has been in occupational therapy since he was 4. We absolutely adore his therapist! She is a phone call away, and helps me so much. I truly appreciate her, and everything she does to help my child.

So really we totally all have sensory quirks! For instance, chewing irks me. The noise, it freaks me out. Socks feel funny on my feet. Little things like that.

Children and adults who have sensory processing disorder, it’s more than that. It’s the everyday world, and the normalcy we go through, that irks them.

I am so thankful Maddox can hold it together in a lot of situations. He is old enough now to verbalize to me what’s bothering him. I have given him the tools to not be ashamed, but to self advocate always. There’s so many tools out there now, to help children ( and adults ) with spd. I feel like it’s my calling, and my job to advocate for those who can’t. To help those who feel helpless. We’ve been going through this his whole life, and there’s days I still feel helpless. I feel like we have regressed on certain days even with all the therapy. Then there’s days where I’m so beyond proud because I see how far he’s gotten in other areas.

Always be your child’s advocate. We got very lucky this year to have a teacher who saw how advanced he is, but how much SPD can hold you back in certain things. Have your child’s teacher make a sensory area for them to have breaks. There’s SO much sensory input at school. All the kids, the groups, the noise, the bright lights, and so on. Make sure your child gets on a 504 plan, and you advocate for their rights and needs.

I’ve never met a cooler kid than Maddox. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him, and he loves who he is. He wants people to understand more, and it’s our job to help everyone understand. He’s truly the biggest super hero in my life.

These kids with spd and any “disorder” are so beyond special. Their quirks, make them unique. They have real super powers, get to know them. Advocate for them. Educate yourself for them.

I’m sure this post is all over the place, it’s something to close to my heart, and extremely emotional.

I’d really love to answer every and all questions!

Welcome to the shit show!

Okay okay,

It’s not THAT much of a shit show, but let’s get real, all the “perfection” we see on social media is never what life is truly like behind the scenes. First, let me introduce myself, I’m Erin. An almost 32 year old sassy, free spirited, yet neurotic, sassy, hot mess of a single mom to two little dudes, Maddox, 7, and Paxton,6.

I’ve been doing this single mom thing for 4 years now. The boys were 2 and 3 when their dad and I got divorced and he’s mostly lived long distance since we split, so I do it all with them. Maddox is a total free spirit. He’s spunky, creative, compassionate, loves skateboarding and animals. Paxton is a comedian, overachiever, athletic, handsome dancing machine. Raising two strong willed, full of farts, crazy boys, can be a mess. That’s where the shit show comes in 😉

I have a lot to say, big opinions, lots of adventures, and lots to share.

So I hope you follow the boys and I on this journey of life!

a shit show of single motherhood with two boys and a lot of coffee! Instagram- @erinbethray