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Suggest Treatment For Eating Metal, Plastic And Fabric

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Posted on Tue, 24 Oct 2017
Question: I have a grandson who is 8 years old and is one of a set of triplets - and he is eating metal, plastic and fabric. His mother is a PA - and has worked in gastroenterology for years, and she is clearly worried - as am I. When asked why he eats these things, he says it makes him "feel good".... He has an identical twin brother, and a sister (triplet) and they do not have the same behavior. Can you help us deal with this?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Go for a star system and delayed gratification.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic.

I have gone through your query carefully and understand your concerns.

I'd suggest going for a delayed gratification process and things that encourage positive behavior.

Award him a star for each day he does not chew/eat those stuff. This is with the commitment that after a certain number of stars accrue you would give him some gift. The gift should be a non-food one and something simple like an eraser or stuff that you would have otherwise possibly given him anyway.

I think that would help.

Do not award the gift immediately. Delayed gratification has a much better effect.

Let me know if I could help further.

Regards


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Follow up: Dr. Diptanshu Das (1 hour later)
Thank you for your response, but I fear this will not work. He gets too much comfort from those items, all throughout the day and will quietly chew on his shirts while at school or riding in the school bus or the family car. He just cannot be counted on to "stop" - even for a reward. He is nearly 9, is extremely intelligent, and loving, but I know he will not be able to "give up" this habit - for a star, or any promised reward . (He doesn't even seem to realize he is doing it) He's too bright and too "involved" with this repetitive action - and satisfaction. It seems to provide him with comfort, continuously, - always putting things in his mouth. He is almost always with his two (triplet) siblings - one who is identical to him - but does not have this problem. If you have any other ideas, I would be interested
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (3 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Behavioral modification therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy should help.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing back.

In such a case I would suggest you visit a child Psychologist. S/he would be able to administer behavioral modification therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy which should help further.

Regards


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Answered by
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Dr. Diptanshu Das

Pediatrician

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3871 Questions

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Suggest Treatment For Eating Metal, Plastic And Fabric

Brief Answer: Go for a star system and delayed gratification. Detailed Answer: Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic. I have gone through your query carefully and understand your concerns. I'd suggest going for a delayed gratification process and things that encourage positive behavior. Award him a star for each day he does not chew/eat those stuff. This is with the commitment that after a certain number of stars accrue you would give him some gift. The gift should be a non-food one and something simple like an eraser or stuff that you would have otherwise possibly given him anyway. I think that would help. Do not award the gift immediately. Delayed gratification has a much better effect. Let me know if I could help further. Regards