With World Autism Awareness Day taking place on April 2, we wanted to talk about how chewing gum helps some people who have sensory differences, such as many of our friends with autism spectrum disorder.
While the full spectrum encompasses a wide and varying range of behaviors and conditions, many people who are autistic are over- or under-sensitive to sensory input, such as how things taste, smell, look, or feel.
Some people with autism find chewing to be soothing, because it provides a sensory input. According to the British National Autistic Society, “chewing and biting provide sensory input to the proprioceptive system, which regulates what different parts of the body are doing at different times.” However, this can be an issue when a child chews on or eats non-edible items.
Because chewing gum has been found to reduce anxiety, increase focus, reduce fidgeting, reduce biting and chewing behaviors, as well as other benefits, it is often used as a tool for kids with sensory conditions. Chewing gum can provide sensory input and offer an outlet for the desire to chew.
The great thing about sugar-free chewing gum is that you can chew as much as you want without worrying about tooth decay. Especially when you use gums with natural cavity-preventing sweeteners like xylitol. That’s what makes our Sugar-Free Glee Gum so sweet: not only is it all-natural, plastic-free, allergy- & keto-friendly, but it is also sweetened with xylitol for the added oral health benefits.
Do you find that chewing gum helps you in some way? Feel free to share your story with us by commenting on this blog post, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!