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Pica
I work with Autistic and MR patients, have done so for years.  I have recently been working with a client who has Pica.  I have seen this disorder before and dealt with it.  This client, however, is different.  Anything that is found on the ground or floor will be placed into the clients mouth and eaten.  The odd part is that the client will resist food on a plate or a spoon.  Food that has been cooked is resisted.  It is to the point that unless you are able to feed this person with a straw the client will go days without ingesting anything other than liquids; water, carnation instant breakfast, ensure, etc...  I'm not sure what to make of it, or even what question to ask.  I am only wondering how common this is and if anyone else has seen the same actions in their clients.  
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365714 tn?1292202708
I wish I could help you but I don't know... I've heard stories from someone in real life about a boy who'd eat paper towls and it would do him harm.

It baffles me too... I would think it is a way of investigating things, feeling the texture, the taste, etc, but that's just my guess, not based on scientific fact.
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470168 tn?1237474845
Does this person have alot of sensory issues?  As taste and smell are closely associated, what is this client like with smell.  Is this person verbal at all.
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The client is completely non-verbal.  Client was kept in a shed by parents and let out during the day for a day-hab program.  I do not believe the client went all the time though.  I have been only been around this person for three days now.  I will report more later, if anyone is interested.  
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325405 tn?1262293778
Left in a shed by their parents?  Did the parents go to jail?  
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365714 tn?1292202708
I don't know about that child, but I certainly would not like being kept in a shed all day. Yes I do like going into a shed and enjoy the tight space, but no I would not like being kept in there....hmmm...

Yeah there can be some psychological issues to be addressed too. I would be very upset if I were kept that way...
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