Autism and PICA

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Gavin had a good day at school today. But he is once again complaining about tummy aches. The teachers don’t pay much attention anymore because he has cried wolf so many times (so they don’t feed into it per our request). If he’s actually sick that’s another story.

Got Gavin into the car and started talking about the tummy aches. Did something upset you at school today? To which he answered “no”. Then comes the question I hate to ask. “Gavin, have you been eating things that aren’t food”? He said “no”. I asked a few more times in different ways because that’s what it takes sometimes to find out what he has eaten.

—Disclaimer– The following items are things he has actually eaten.. – Not for those with a weak stomach—

We got home and I talked to Lizze and we talked to Gavin again. For those new to my family and our story Gavin also battles PICA. Gavin has ingested his own urine, paper,plastic fish,card board,carpet,the stitching out of 2 blankets,toe jam,dust bunnies,paint, several books,toilet paper,pencils,plastic from pens, crayons and mouth wash. This just some of the things we know for sure he has ingested. So when he clams up we know something is not right. After a little guess work on our parts he admitted to eating toothpaste. I don’t know how reliable the amount is but he is not going through a ton of toothpaste so he may actually be telling us the truth. I don’t think this has anything to do with the tummy aches but it took us a good hour or so to get the information.

Lizze was much more patient with him then I was so hats off to her. I cannot tell you how may trips to the hospital or doctors office I have personally (not including what Lizze has done) taken him on because of things he was eating. The hospital he has to go to is a 30 min drive each way on a good day. We have to error on the side of caution and assume he ate something he shouldn’t have. Especially when he complains of a stomach ache. Brushing his teeth was a independent thing for him. In light of this though it will have to be very closely monitored again.

There is never an easy day it seems when it comes to autistic children. All I can hope is that the world wakes up to the reality that it’s here now. These kids and their families need and deserve more support then is offered by the federal, state and local agencies. Now I will climb off my soap box and finish watching Glee on Hulu with my amazing wife.


Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Kiara Benito

My autistic son is also eating non food items It comes and goes but it's such a hard thing to deal with at its worst.

Jeannie P

Wow. This sounds like my son, who is 14. he was diagnosed with autism at age 5. He chews on everything. Now he has begun eating string. String from clothes, blankets, anything he can find. Also elastic string out of his shorts and underwear. He has gone thru 8 pairs of underwear in the past month, by pulling string out of them until the band comes off. He does shorts the same way. He is still not BM trained. Therefore, I have to clean him, as he wears a diaper for this. Not much fun, I assure you. I cannot count the number of times I have pulled string out of him. (Sorry, no other way to say it, lol)…….. What do they do for your son when he does this? My son has always had bowel problems, constipation, etc……. He has never been regular.