Austism "Chinning" - Advice/Help — Scope | Disability forum
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Austism "Chinning" - Advice/Help

Henrys_Dad Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi All, 
My son is 12 and has had a diagnosis of ASD (with Sensory Processing Disorder) since being very young. He's a healthy happy boy, surrounded by lots of love, and is really starting to flourish. 
His challenges present themselves (in the main) as communication difficulties, and although his speech is really coming on (as is his reading :) ) this is still very much the focus of the support he requires.
However, for a long time, he has relieved sensory stimulation/stress and emotion by applying pressure to his chin and jaw. I believe that this is called "Chinning". His usual behaviour is that he pushes the heel of his thumb into his chin when experiencing sensory stimulation or excitement. It's not a huge problem, and we're not embarrassed or concerned by this behaviour at all. 
What is becoming a bit of an issue is that his chin is starting to become sore, swollen, and almost bulbous, and I wondered if anyone else has this issue, and consequently any advice (aside from visiting the GP/Health care pros).
Many thanks in advance.


  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,682 Disability Gamechanger
    As an adult with ASD all I can suggest is trying to find something that can like replace the feeling that's not going to cause damage. It sounds like he likes pressure, so looking at things like weighted blankets although that's harder for him to replicate when out and stuff. I've heard occupational therapists are really good with finding similar feelings and redirections if that's an option to visit one?? Does he have any other stims that help him?
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,682 Disability Gamechanger
    I was just thinking again, does his chin being sore bother him @Henrys_Dad??
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,214 Scope online community team
    Heya @Henrys_Dad and a warm welcome to the community. I'm glad to hear there's great progress with your sons speech. :)

    Have you tried replacement objects for stimming, such as little beanbags or soft toys?  Often they can be used to apply the pressure your son wants, without being damaging to the soft tissue of the face.
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • eeL
    eeL Community member Posts: 22 Connected
    Albus_Scope you read my mind! I was thinking of a little piece of fur fabric or a hanky or something that he can press his chin with that will lessen the damage. It's preferable to replace that action with something else but if it can't be stopped it can be lessened! I can remember a girl at my school who used to pressure the top of her nose with her first finger and the teachers gave her a scrap of fluffy cloth to put under the finger - she kept her habit and the teachers didn't have to worry about her swollen nose - everyone was a winner!
  • SpaceAce
    SpaceAce Community member Posts: 5 Listener
    I don't have experience with this exactly, but I know that weighted plush toys exist. That might be a better way to bring something that can provide pressure without being as bulky as a weighted blanket. It probably wouldn't look too weird for him to carry a plushy either. Plenty of kids need a comfort object, especially disabled kids.
    She/Her pronouns please!


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