Pica disorder causes children to crave non edible items and is commonly seen in children with autism. This article will discuss appropriate treatments to stop an autistic child eating non food items.
Children with pica have a compulsion to eat non food items which can be dangerous. The food disorder often leads to nutritional deficiencies and can be potentially fatal with the ingestion of toxic substances. Iron anemia can also result from this disorder.
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.
There are a number of tried and trusted interventions that can be deployed to help stop an autistic child eating non food items. These approaches include talking to a doctor and receiving medical care, educating a child on acceptable eating habits, restricting an autistic child from access to non food items that he or she craves and behavioral interventions.
It is important to discuss pica disorder in children with autism with your child's doctor. Medical intervention may be needed if harmful substances have been ingested or serious health conditions develop. Lead poisoning can occur from consuming paint and bowel problems can result from eating food that is not easily digested. In addition, some objects can obstruct internal organs or cause dental problems. And eating fecal matter or dirt can lead to parasitic conditions inside the body.
Contingent behavior intervention instructs children with pica to throw the object away every time they attempt to eat it.
Educating an autistic child with pica on what are acceptable and non acceptable food choices can help as well. It is important to teach them about the importance of eating foods for nutritional content. This can be done by using material that is appropriate for the child's level.
Restricting the child from the non food items that he or she craves by locking the items away. Keeping them out of reach will help the child get past their obsession for non edible items.
There are various types of medical treatment options. A doctor can check for nutritional deficiencies and anemia. X- rays may be needed to make sure there are no internal injuries. In addition, fecal matter from the child may need to be evaluated to check for parasitic conditions. An autistic child with pica may need to take vitamins if he has nutritional deficiencies. In addition, some children may need medication if they cannot stop ingesting non food items. There are various medications that are used to stop the compulsions and cravings. It is important to talk too a specialists to discuss these options.