What is pica in a child?
For the uninitiated, pica (pronounced PY-kah) is an appetite for non-food items. This tendency is relatively common in children and adults with autism or other developmental disabilities. They may try to eat all sorts of things. The items I most commonly hear about are paper, soap, pebbles, thread and bits of clothing.
How do you treat pica in toddlers?
One form of treatment associates the pica behavior with negative consequences or punishment (mild aversion therapy). Then the person gets rewarded for eating normal foods. Medicines may help reduce the abnormal eating behavior if pica is part of a developmental disorder such as intellectual disability.
How do you solve pica?
If your doctor thinks your pica is caused by nutrient imbalances, they may prescribe vitamin or mineral supplements. For example, they’ll recommend taking regular iron supplements if you’re diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia.
What happens if pica is left untreated?
Risks. Even though pica disorder can be hard to detect in some individuals, it poses serious threats that could prove fatal if left untreated. Substances ingested could be poisonous, contain toxic chemicals, or be ridden with bacteria.
What’s the signs of autism in a child?
Signs of autism in children
- not responding to their name.
- avoiding eye contact.
- not smiling when you smile at them.
- getting very upset if they do not like a certain taste, smell or sound.
- repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, flicking their fingers or rocking their body.
- not talking as much as other children.
What are the signs of autism?
At any age
- Loss of previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills.
- Avoidance of eye contact.
- Persistent preference for solitude.
- Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings.
- Delayed language development.
- Persistent repetition of words or phrases (echolalia)
- Resistance to minor changes in routine or surroundings.
How do you get rid of pica in humans?
There is no specific way to prevent pica. However, careful attention to eating habits and close supervision of children known to put things in their mouths may help catch the disorder before complications can occur.
What are the complications of pica?
Complications of pica include: inherent toxicity; intestinal obstruction (such as that occurring with trichophagia, or hair eating); excessive caloric intake (such as that occurring with starch); nutritional deprivation; parasitic infections; and dental injury.