Owen’s Pica has spiraled almost completely out of control. He is constantly on the lookout for anything he can fit in his mouth. He’s tried to eat (and succeeded in some) strange things lately, including colored pencils, erasers, diaper tabs (he rips these off), socks, and any book or paper he can finds
It’s terrible! He’s had Pica since 2012, but this is even worse than normal. It’s like he’s obsessed with eating everything.
And it requires a new management tactic. I don’t like it, but I’m hoping it will help to curb this dangerous behavior.
On a side-note, yes, we are seeing the doctor at the end of the month, and going off the MAD diet will be discussed in great detail because of this, and other, disturbing behavior.
Back to the management. I set a timer on my phone for 30 minutes, and get Owen set in his booster at the table. When the timer sounds, he goes to his room, with some large toys. After another thirty minutes, I put him in his new wheelchair, in the living room. This offers great support and I’m hoping will help him learn to attend to a task at hand for a few minutes since he can’t escape
We keep repeating this cycle. Booster, room, wheelchair. This movement keeps him from staying in one place too long. It also breaks up his sitting time with some gross motor activities, and removes almost all access to items to eat.
He’s still surprised me–grabbing a necklace from Sydney’s neck as she walked by for instance, and ripping it off to eat in one swoop. Poor girl!
We all need to work on our awareness of where we are and whether or not Owen can reach our materials and our bodies.
One benefit to this new method? The other kids are able to set out toys and play in a manner that has never been permitted before. They had so much fun with our train set on Sunday!
School has also been easier (we started up again yesterday), as I’ve been able to come up with a list of Owen activities for each location, and he works on those while he other kids have their supplies out.
I’m praying that his Pica subsides again. But if it doesn’t, I know I need to be doing a better job of keeping Owen safe from himself. I’ve never liked confining him, but we are at the point where he is a serious risk of death from choking when given free access to any part of the house but his bedroom. I’ll take confined over choking any day.
Even though I know that, and know that it’s for the best, I still struggle. I would appreciate your prayers both for me in inplementing this new system, and for Owen. We both need them!
Thanks! And I’ll close with a gross picture…the sock Owen was choking on recently. It was too far down to finger sweep (which is all I normally have to do), so I learned that the Heimlich Maneuver thankfully does work on Owen. With his fundo and G-tube, I was never sure before if it’d work properly.
Thank goodness for first aide training! An ambulance would never make it here in time. And this is good motivation for me to keep him confined unless I’m right next to him, physically and mentally prepared to keep everything away!