Thursday, February 9, 2012
Pica and Autism can go hand in hand.
On Sunday the 5th, my mother was at our home watching our children so we could attend a friends daughters Baptism. When we got home, my mom mentioned if I knew what, "Pica" was.. I said, "yessss, I work at Bethesda" ;)
She was concerned because she believes Ben may have it, as he eats his blanket (like actually eats it, not sucks on it), he tries to eat books, and toilet paper. I added to her list, he tries to eat wipes as well - and this is all true.
Thinking back to Owen, he was the same. I could not understand how this child wanted to eat cardboard and toilet paper - it was nasty, and it drove us nuts. Well, unfortunately Ben is also going through this as well, and yes - it is a form of Pica, also another flag to a child with Autism. Ben does not put coins, small items, anything not safe he does not put in his mouth, but he will try and eat non-edible items to an extreme, just like his brother did. I totally know, Kids put things in their mouthes.. all things. Pica, for Children goes BEYOND that, it last well over a month and it is the most oddest things - like toilet paper, sand, feces.. thigns like that. Like I said, in our house for Ben - it IS toilet paper, eating his blanket, baby wipes, cardboard, books - random things and it has been over 2 months.
Owen grew out of this, so I am hoping just referring to anything like that Ben puts in his mouth, that it is, "ca-ca". He will actually point to the toilet paper, look at me and I say CA - CA in a stern voice, and he says it back and walks away.
Here is a little blurb I found on the issue -
What causes pica?
The specific causes of pica are unknown, but certain conditions and situations can increase an individual’s risk of developing pica, these are:
• learning disabilities
• nutritional deficiencies
It is estimated that between 4% and 26% of individuals with a learning disability display pica behaviour. It is thought that the more severe the individual’s learning disability the greater the chance that they will display pica.
Autistic children with pica disorder may crave soap, cigarette ashes, dirt, laundry starch, paste, feces, toothpaste, plaster, hair, paper, clay, burnt match heads, coffee grinds and other non edible substances. Although, many kids outgrow the condition, child with autism may need interventions to help them stop their behavior of eating non food items. It is important for these children to receive appropriate help before the condition becomes life threatening.
Gross and Interesting eh?