Pica Behaviors Among Developmentally Challenged Adults Living in Inpatient Settings

Pica, or the ingestion of inedible items, is a constant risk for some members of the developmentally disabled population. Within this population, two subsets of patients engaging in pica behaviors is evident: The severely to profoundly mentally retarded (lower functioning individuals), and the mildly to severely retarded with a co-occurring psychiatric diagnosis (higher functioning individuals). This essay will present this writer’s personal observations of pica behavior during the course of 3+ years observing inpatient populations with developmental challenges. However, this writer has not employed formal research methodology to validate the hypotheses here to be offered.

Pica, or the ingestion of inedible items, is a constant risk for some members of the developmentally disabled population. Within this population, two subsets of patients engaging in pica behaviors is evident: The severely to profoundly mentally retarded (lower functioning individuals), and the mildly to severely retarded with a co-occurring psychiatric diagnosis (higher functioning individuals).   This essay will present this writer’s personal observations of pica behavior during the course of 3+ years observing inpatient populations with developmental challenges. However, this writer has not employed formal research methodology to validate the hypotheses here to be offered. Continue reading “Pica Behaviors Among Developmentally Challenged Adults Living in Inpatient Settings”