Question of the week - 8/18

We would like to discuss PICA on our show.   "The word pica comes from the Latin word for magpie, a bird known for its large and indiscriminate appetite.

Pica is most common in people with developmental disabilities, including autism and mental retardation, and in children between the ages of 2 and 3. Pica also may surface in children who've had a brain injury affecting their development. It can also be a problem for some pregnant women, as well as people with epilepsy.

People with pica frequently crave and consume nonfood items such as:  dirt,  clay,   paint chips,   plaster,  chalk,   cornstarch,   laundry starch,   baking soda,   coffee grounds,   cigarette ashes,   burnt match heads,   cigarette butts,   feces,   ice,   glue,  hair,   buttons,   paper,   sand, toothpaste,   soap.

Pica is an eating disorder that can result in serious health problems, such as lead poisoning and iron-deficiency anemia."

Does your ASD child/adult have PICA?  Was he/she diagnosed w/ PICA?  How difficult is this to deal with?  What has been your experience w/ PICA - how have you handled it?