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Tapestry

Child Licks Everything


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Hi everyone,

I wonder if you can give me some advice?! I am supporting a little girl aged 4 due to start primary school in September. She is on EYA to support her with issues around her behaviour (she can be very 'hands on' with other children, for e.g. today when she wanted a go on the scooter she pushed the other child off). She also has some strange behaviour, she licks everything....puddles, walls, windows and nearly always has a piece of paper in her mouth which she chews!

I do know when her mum was in the later stages of pregnancy her waters broke and over a period of 2 weeks she was leaking and they did suggest that she could have developmental problems (which at the time they didn't know to what extent). some of her behaviour, for e.g. playing in the toilet cubicles is attention seeking.

She is currently awaiting assessment by community paediatrian and also HV as been very supportive of family. IEPs are in place to help her socialisation with other children and to focus on an activity.

Just wondered if anyone could give advice on the licking?..seems to me she likes the sensory experience...but your thoughts appreciated.

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Pica is more commonly seen in women and children,[3] where it affects people of all ages in these subgroups. Particularly it is seen in pregnant women, small children, and those with developmental disabilities such as autism. (wikipedia)

this could possibly be the reason, ASD was at the back of my mind, so much harder because the child is a staff member's child,

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You may also want to Google 'Early Intervention Support' and search for 'oral fixation'. It may be a good idea to make sure the Paediatrician knows about the sucking / licking (if you can get permission to contact him/her), as an assessment from a Speech and Language or Occupational therapist may be needed.

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We have a child who seems very similar to yours. He has a sensory processing disorder - he is hyposensitive to touch which means everything goes in his mouth, he has no idea of his own personal space and that of other children so often is too physical with them. He has a chewy stick which he is given when he starts chewing his hand or sleeve which shows he is becoming anxious. He's getting lots of support from occ therapy at the moment.

 

If you want any further info, let me know.

 

Jo

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ah, I have taught 2 Picas since moving into special ed. One used to love to eat glue, paint, crayons etc and the other would just eat ANYTHING, edible or otherwise.

It may be that she gets good sensory feedback from those things. It may be that she doesn't get the sensory feedback she seeks from having them in her hands. There are a number of different things you can get to encourage them to eat what they should and not what they shouldn't. Chewelry, as someone else has posted or tri chews or chewy tubes. It's worth looking into these. If you have access to a speech and language therapist, they may be able to help you there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very interesting, we too have a child who eats glue, paint and basically anything she can get her hands onto..

Thanks for some ideas, will look into these :D

Thanks

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We have had a couple of children with pica, which was my first response when I saw your lead post, but others have made the suggestions so go with it!

 

Please let us know how this progresses!

 

Sue

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