For the Need to Chew™

An Open Letter to the Camp Leaders

July 24, 2014

I have given you my boy for the next few days. I trust that upon meeting him, you will immediately realize how special he is. Handing him over to you is like putting my heart into my body and pulling it out for you to have. He is THAT special.

Unlike the other campers that are entrusted in your care, he is different. He is mine, and him and I have a history together that you might not have encountered before.   So before you go off to the leader meeting tonight and talk about the overly anxious, hovering parent of camper boyoboy, there are a few things I want you to know about him, me and us.

I know I hoover. It’s what I do. I am not proud of it, but I am scared to pieces of losing that boy of mine. I know in short order, adolescence will pull him further away from me and I hope he makes wise choices and finds friends and leaders that can counsel him and lead him the way I would. That is a part of the camp experience I am hoping he comes home with. I know he will return with a servant’s love, yet perhaps an older version of that child I dropped off.

You see, my boy was born the golden child. He was the child that not only wasn’t supposed to be here, but he was the child that saved me. Prior to his arrival into my life, he had 2 older sisters that were born silently to me. I have buried children before and know the intense ache of wanting to hold them and not having them here. Knowing only that we will again be together but in a place that is not here and not now. I was cautioned after that pregnancy that maybe birthing babies was not in my future. And then that boy of mine came to be. We lay perfectly still together for 7 months on total bed rest while he formed and grew. He truly is wonderfully made. It was him that gave me back my purpose in life and made me an earthly bound mama. It was him that saved me from the deepest black and the greatest hate I have ever known.

Fast forward a few years and I found that my boy was even more special than I had originally thought. At age 5, I discovered that he was gifted in a way that very few people are. He has Asperger’s Syndrome and uses that gift in the most extraordinary of ways. He is highly intelligent and deeply inquisitive. So much so, that there are times where he will seek out something and give no thought to the consequences of where that journey may take him.

Here is where you come in. I know he will be filled with camp experiences that will entice him and call him in. I need you to recognize his sense of adventure and that unlike other kids, he may not know when to end the experience and huddle back together with the group. Be cautious of his sensitivities and handle him with the most loving and gentle ways. He is literal. Tell him why he must be a part of the group and why he is needed. That he will understand. He will not wander or disobey out of spite or disrespect. He may do it out of curiosity and intrigue.   In my absence, be mindful of his seeking needs and lead him back.

Perhaps being so involved in the Autism community is itself my greatest barrier to letting my boy go. Every day I am reminded of how easy it is for these beautifully inquisitive children to wander away and not return safely to the families that love them and need them. Stories like this happen way more than the general public knows. Occasionally, they make the news but generally they are brushed aside for something considered more newsworthy. Unless, of course, you are a parent like me then you see this almost every day in your newsfeeds and chat rooms.

Together, our family made a conscious decision to send him away to a “typical” camp. Being it was a faith based camp and he feels connected with the youth leaders, we felt it a great opportunity to allow him to grow deeper in his faith and his sense of serving others. He loves community and giving. His heart is big and fills with joy at knowing he brings forward help to those that need it.

Your camp and his needs seem a match. Please let that be true. Let him experience normal preteen life and live it free of his mama’s gaze. Provide him the safety he needs and the protection that I would give if I were there. Be kind to him and treat him as though he is as special to you as he is to us.

Be the extension of me, only with less leaky eyes.


Mama Chewi

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Buyers Guide

Need Help Chewsing your Chew™? We have many options! Each Chewigem is different in size, strength and personality!





Moderate +

Tactile Nubs

Matte Finish

Polish Finish


Emitochew Small

2.75" x 2.75"

0.25" thick

Emitochew Large

3" x 3"

0.25" thick

Dog Tags

1" x 2"

0.25" thick


1" x 2"

0.25" thick


1" x 2"

0.25" thick


1" x 2"

0.25 " thick


2" x 1.5"

0.5" thick

Realm Rings




2" x 2"

0.5" thick


2.75" x 2.25"

0.5" thick


1.75" x 1.75"

0.5" thick

Miller Hearts

2.25" x 2.25"

0.5" thick

Geo Tags

1" x 2"

0.5" thick

Tread Bangles Small

3" x 3"

0.5" thick

Tread Bangles Large


3.5" x 3.5"

0.5" thick

Bubba Bangles

3.25" x 3.25"

0.5" thick


4.5" x 4.5"

0.75" thick

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Due to the intended use of the product, wear and tear are expected and products should be checked routinely for damage and used with adult supervision. Discard and replace immediately once damaged. Necklaces are not intended to be worn for children under age 3 due to the concern of long cord strangulation. Clasps and ties contain small parts and may be a choking hazard and are not intended for chewing. This is not a toy.