One of the great things about my blog is that I have the opportunity to “meet” people I would not ordinarily get to meet. A woman in Canada emailed me that she loved my site, and thought I’d be interested in her product. As it turns out, not only was I very interested, but the product is something that benefits my son. Lately, my little guy has been on a chewing frenzy. He is likely to put anything in his mouth and chew. Aside from the potential for choking, this is a really bad habit. His shirts are soaked, frayed and stretched. I despaired of ever getting him to stop. I kept threatening to get him a chewy toy like the dog has. My son thought I was joking. I wasn’t!
Children with ADHD, like my son,and others with a variety of diagnoses which have sensory components, can need to chew on things.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder often chew on their wrists, arms and clothes. When I worked in a school for children with behavioral disorders, we used to give the children elasticized wristbands so they wouldn’t gnaw on their skin. It is very hard to break this habit when a child has the need for the sensory input.
Kid Companions are a great solution for kids who crave chewing.
Lorna d’Entremont, the mom of the inventor, sent me a sample for my son to try. At first he needed to be reminded to use the Kid Companion. But once he got used to it, I would see him use it to satisfy his chewing urge. At school, his teacher encourages him to use it and to hold it if he is “fidgety”. It has helped a great deal.
I contacted Lorna to tell her about the success with my son, and I asked her to write about the products and why they are perfect for a wide range of issues.
Below is the article she submitted.
Pierrette d’Entremont, a mom who breast fed her three children, felt there was a need on the market for a safe item to occupy the exploring hands of a baby being fed or held.
With the support of her husband, her babysitting mom, Lorna (a retired elementary school teacher) and a few key interested individuals, Pierrette developed a two-part pendant and a custom breakaway clasp. This process took a while.
Her first design was and still is called HeartString Baby Companions sold online at www.heartstringcompanions.com. HeartString Baby Companions evolved from a simple concept: Babies like to tug and chew on anything they can touch. HeartString is a touchable, tuggable product for a baby and a wearable accessory for the caregiver. The Baby Companions provide a breast feeding and parenting aid that is a safe, effective and fashionable alternative to jewelry, “made-in-China” pacifiers, traditional teethers, those dirty car keys, grandma’s glasses, and other items potentially harmful to a child.
Next the Kid Companions Were Designed
Pierrette had a market analysis done to find out what products were already on the market to fulfill the chewing, biting and fidgeting needs of Special Needs individuals. This study revealed that indeed there was a great need for a discreet, attachable oral-motor tool that would not be a distraction to the user or a distraction to others.
Steps to Get Kid Companions to Special Needs Market
So in 2006 began her journey to get our Kid Companions to market. Pierrette used strict quality control and extensively researched her materials. She reduced her carbon footprint by sourcing from North America and having her products manufactured in Canada in a medical grade clean room facility.
The Baby Companions and the Kid Companions are designed to North American safety standards. They are safe, bpa, phthalate, PVC, lead and latex free accessories. Pierrette obtained patents, a trademark, international insurance, FDA approval and a CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) 3rd party testing certificate…the paper work was endless.
In Jan 2010, Lorna, Pierrette’s mom, joined her business and together they focused their marketing efforts on the Special Needs’ market. Now Kid Companions are sold online at www.chewelry.ca and in Special Needs stores in Canada, the United States and Australia.
Unique Features and Effeciency of the Kid Companions
Parents, Special Needs teachers and Occupational Therapist recommend our chewable fidgets for Special Needs children, often those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Asperger, Down Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorders, ADHD …
Kid Companions, in their stylish heart or circle shapes worn around the neck or clipped to clothing are ‘cool’ enough for your young child to blend in. Also Kid Companions chewelry is attractive to tweens and teens because it looks fashionable but it is a Special Needs’ tool discreetly accessible at all times.
Our 18’’ or 20’’ lanyards are made with washable, durable colorful 100% organic cotton, colorfast and pre-washed with plant-based ingredients. You also have the choice of an undyed 100% organic cotton and non-allergenic lanyards.
The comfortable lanyards have a custom breakaway clasp that will release and can be re-attached with ease. This means no more lost, dropped or thrown mouthing and fidgeting aids. The breakaway is small and lays flat.
It was designed specifically for children and conforms to ASTM toy safety standard! It is also BPA, lead and phthalate free.
We can personalize the lanyards with contact, medical or allergy information. And the lanyard which can be sold separately can be used for any pendant or ID badge and can also be personalized.
As a chewable accessory, our chewy Kid Companions address the issues of inappropriate biting and chewing on inedible items that bring questions of hygiene and safety to mind.
As a fidget/chewy, Kid Companions allows discreet fidgeting to help hyperactive children to focus better. Also the strong jaw muscles are a great way to use pent-up energy by chewing to stay on task.
As a comforting ‘blanky’, children who do not like transitions, going from home to school or from homeroom to another class, cafeteria, gym…find security and comfort holding on to their Kid Companions.
Kid Companions allow special children to relax, to focus and to learn and bring peace of mind to their parents.