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pica

ATN/AIR-P Guides to Pica for Parents and Professionals

Pica, the repeated eating of non-food items, is the eating disorder most often displayed by children with autism. In published literature, the most common definition of pica is the placing of non-edible items past the plane of the lips. For example, a child may eat food from a garbage can or bite off a piece of a toy plastic car and swallow it quickly.