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Pica Concern

I am concerned with my 10 year old son. He chews on everything, sometimes even eating it. Clothing, plastic, his fingers and fingernails, paper, erasers, pens & pencils. If he picks it up it will at some point go into his mouth. He has been tested for ADD & ADHD both were negative he also has been tested for food and environmental allergies along with Celiacs all have come back negative. We are also have hygiene issues, lying, aggression and he is very reactionary. Any suggestions? His school is less than helpful along with the therapist we are seeing says he is "stumped". Please help
3 Responses
112359 tn?1226870683
Some children with certain sensory processing disorders chew inappropriately, you might ask for him to be tested by an Occupational Therapist if this has not already been done. The other personality traits you describe can also be products of sensory issues. I can't offer any help with diagnosis, but meanwhile have you been told about "chewy tubes"? They are specially made to be safe for children to chew for oral stimulation, certainly safer than chewing on everything you describe. Medhelp won't allow us to post other web addresses, but just do an internet search for what I put in quotes and you'll find them.
13167 tn?1327197724
Great advice,  mom@homenow.  

I want to add that tests for ADD and ADHD aren't always conclusive - they aren't like pregnancy tests with clear positive and negative.

A child with ADD who functions poorly in group situations and uses stimulation like you are describing to keep his brain focused will often do very very well on one-on-one tests with an energetic and supportive tester.  

Chewing is a way to focus the brain.  I have a friend - who is a physician - who goes to conferences and gets coffee with those little coffee straws - so she can chew them all through the conference.  Looks socially acceptable, and  the only way she can keep from running around the room screaming with boredom at some of those lectures.  You see kids who are really focusing sticking their tongues out of their mouths at weird angles - sounds like your son has found a way to force his mind to attention.


Avatar universal
the first thing i thought when i read your post is that maybe your son has an anxiety disorder. biting on nails, chewing things, aggression etc suggest he is extremely anxious about something and perhaps cannot orally express himself. It could be handy to ask him what he's feeling when you notice him presenting these actions and keep a diary as a record that you could present to a practioner if needed, that way you'll have a wide scope and a regular pattern of his behaviours to work with. good luck :)
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