This article from the Autism Perspective in 2007 looks at whether there is a connection between chewing and not moving.
I’ve heard many parents and teachers in the past 12 years ask why their children grind their teeth, chew through their shirt sleeves or pencils, or put non-edible objects in their mouth.
Although there are lots of theories and ideas regarding this matter, this article looks at the interesting connection between chewing and lack of movement.
As an Occupational Therapist, I believe that lack of movement is certainly a big reason that children mouthe on objects, however, it is also important to consider the impact of other sensory systems (e.g. touch and muscle/joint input). For example, are children who use their mouths for exploration able to use their hands to explore objects adequately and efficiently? And are there other ways to provide the child with more appropriate oral sensory input during their day?
An Occupational Therapist trained in Sensory Integration would be able to identify causes of such difficulties, provide appropriate sensory based activities for home and school, and help determine what intervention or modifications are needed.