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Is lip licking a stim?

(18 Posts)
Ineedmorepatience Sat 17-Jan-15 10:37:23

We know Dd3 is showing signs of stress and anxiety and now she has started lip licking pretty much constantly sad

She hasnt done this since she was at the first school that we moved her from when she was 8.

We have had throat clearing and humming over the years but they are not present at the moment!

I know she masks anxiety at school but am worried that she is trying to mask at home as well. She understands abit about the tribunal process that we are stuck in and she has been able to tell us that she needs more help but it isnt forth coming at the moment sad

bedelia Sat 17-Jan-15 10:46:08

Sorry I can't tell you whether or not this is considered a stim, as I've been wondering the exact same thing myself!

DS (3.4) has been doping this for a few weeks now, this week being particularly bad (big changes at nursery, and to his routine) which made me wonder if it's a stim. His mouth is in an awful state - lips chapped, surrounding skin very dry. I have to pin him down to put cream on in the hopes of easing it a little.

Sorry to hear your DD is so anxious, hope she's able to feel better soon flowers

bedelia Sun 18-Jan-15 14:00:52

DS2's face resembles the Joker today, the soreness has spread right up to his cheeks! Did a bit of googling last night and read that Lanolin is good for healing this (which may help our DCs want to lick less), luckily I have some Lansinoh left from bfing so am trying it now as nothing else I've tried has really made much of a difference, except to make him lick his lips more!

Jacksterbear Sun 18-Jan-15 14:18:42

I spent some time looking into the differences between stims, sensory-seeking behaviour and OCD-type behaviour. My DS is a lip-licker (well actually he licks in a huge circle all around his mouth, every few seconds). I concluded in his case that it's most likely to be a sensory behaviour. He says he likes doing it, his lips feel uncomfortable if he doesn't. Doing it doesn't make him unhappy, and he says he could stop himself it he wanted to but he doesn't.

Jacksterbear Sun 18-Jan-15 14:22:51

Oh meant to include tics in my list of possible explanations.

PolterGoose Sun 18-Jan-15 14:26:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sun 18-Jan-15 15:23:43

DS1 used to do this. As a rule of thumb I tend to think that if if there are uncomfortable and noticeable consequences to what could be a habitual behaviour - like chapped skin covering almost half the face or bleeding cuticles - then the behaviour is likely to be a stim - it is not stopped consciously like breaking a bad habit.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 18-Jan-15 16:39:33

Thanks everyone, she hasnt been doing it today!! It will be interesting to see if its back tomorrow!

Jacksterbear Sun 18-Jan-15 22:05:25

Ineed, DS definitely does it more the worse his anxiety is. And when really anxious he scratches and picks incessantly at the sore bits too.

bedelia, Vaseline aloe Vera (the one in the green-lidded round tin) is the only thing I've found that DS will (sonetimes) tolerate and which actually helps (I also try to get him in his sleep if I can). I have tried lots of things including a La Roche Posay skin-healing cream recommended by Polter on another thread but DS screamed the place down (tried it myself on a sore patch of skin - it does tingle ever so slightly but obviously interpreted as pain by a sensory-processing-disordered child!).

Ineedmorepatience Sun 18-Jan-15 22:12:15

Dd3 will only use the blue vaseline but it does help. If she is on a mission though she wont put it on!

This weekend has been challenging at times !

Babieseverywhere Mon 19-Jan-15 07:53:16

I didn't realise thus was a sensory issue. My DS often has a red sore circle of skin around his mouth in cold weather because of excessive licking...though he prefers to lick hands and fingers when he isn't wearing gloves.

PolterGoose Mon 19-Jan-15 08:02:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jacksterbear Mon 19-Jan-15 09:21:12

Polter, you are welcome to it for free, just pm me your address. It's only sitting on my shelf going to waste! (And sorry hope my post didn't sound like criticism of you, which wasn't intended!) smile Will go back to SPD thread to feed back there.

katcatkat Mon 19-Jan-15 11:21:32

My dd has done this in previous years one way we found to stop the soreness was to make sure vasaline was applied before going outside in the cold/windy weather as much of the soreness was caused by the wind on damp skin then she would lick it as it helped the soreness and it got better.
It was breaking the soreness-licking cycle for us that helped but I have a compliant aspergers girl who was embarrassed by it.

Dontstepinthecowpat Mon 19-Jan-15 11:32:28

DS does this, his face can be very sore. The best thing I've found is metanium nappy cream on when he is asleep, by morning it is totally clear and I don't wash his face to give him a barrier for the next day confused

Mollyweasley Mon 19-Jan-15 11:39:01

I've had real trouble with this and DS when he was younger..he ended up with impetigo .If it ever starts now I go straight to the nurse to get some cream with steroids in it and first apply it when he is asleep (because at first it stings) and then in the day time when it starts healing. the trouble is that the more sore it is, the more you want to lick it to release how dry it feels the trick is to get onto it as soon as it starts (easiest said than done, I know).He is more aware of it now and feels it looks bad so he tries very hard to control it (bites his nails instead).
Sorry your DD is so stressed Ineed. Have you tried CBT with her?

Mollyweasley Mon 19-Jan-15 11:39:46

Oh I would also say that it is stress related.

Ineedmorepatience Mon 19-Jan-15 22:20:32

No molly no CBT, been trying to get a clinical psych appointment for 2 yrs but no one will refer her!

She needs to be taught how to say that she is stressed! We had some success with a word list, she would circle words with a pen. She is completely unable to use her extensive vocab to find words for her emotions or fears sad

She was licking her lips again tonight after school!! Surprise surprise!!

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