When Ethan was young, he had pica.
Pica is when a person eats non-edible things such as dirt, rocks and leaves.
In hindsight, I am grateful for his pica, as I was able to use this situation to mold Ethan’s eating habits for the better.
In autistic children is usually occurs when they have low levels of minerals in their bodies and is usually cured by adding zinc and other minerals to their diets.
We used Ethan’s pica as an opportunity to introduce vegetables into his diet. We decided that if he would the green leaves from the garden then surely we could get him to eat vegetables.
Instead of fighting him not to eat from the garden, we decided to use his rebellious behavior and non-compliance to achieve our goals.
At first, I sat at the table with Ethan and placed a plate of vegetables between us.
I told him “Don’t touch!” and proceeded to eat the vegetables as if it was the tastiest food in the world. I over emphasized how much I was enjoying the vegetables.
I then walked away and reminded him not to touch. I did this over a period of 2 weeks and then one day as soon as my back was turned, Ethan took a piece of celery and quickly ate the “forbidden” food. It was a slow process, but eventually Ethan began eating all types of green vegetables.
Ethan is now 17 and he loves eating all types of vegetables and fruits.
Dealing with autism, requires you to think outside the box. You have to be persistent and
follow through. There will be setbacks, but learn from your “mistakes “and keep going.
Sometime, you will find that good things will come out of the bad situations.
Don’t give up and God Bless!
by Dalia, Ethans Mom