Licking Habit and Autism

By Pam Marshalla

Q: I am looking for something to assist us with a student who stimulates by licking everything in sight. Are there any strategies for decreasing this behavior? It interferes with his attending during class.

I have worked so little with kids on the autism spectrum that I do not know how to answer this. I have never had to extinguish a behavior like this. I can say this however: I would not consider this an oral-motor problem. This is a habitual means of self-regulation. You need to speak with someone with expertise in autism about this.

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