Thursday, December 20, 2012

Little Zach Tahir's eating disorder means he craves everything from CARPET to STONES

And this Christmas he is being given a life-changing present - a special bedroom he can't chew

A boy who munches curtains and carpets is getting a special Christmas present - a bedroom he can’t eat.

Zach Tahir suffers from a rare eating disorder which makes him crave inedible objects.

He has devoured wallpaper, his bedroom blinds and bedding.

The five year old, who has Pica Disorder, has even chewed the plaster off his walls.

But now his mum Rachel Horn has raised thousands for a unique bedroom that will keep him safe and healthy.

The room’s walls will be made from the same material as squash courts to stop him eating the plaster.

Blinds will be installed between window panes so he will not be tempted to chew them.

And the window sills are slanted to stop him climbing.

Zach, who is autistic and does not speak, is also getting his own wet room.

Rachel, who gave up her job at a bank to care for her son, said: “Hopefully the measures we have taken will be Zach-proof. I’m hoping it will be indestructible even when he is 18.

“When he was younger he wouldn’t go out of his way to eat things, but now he seeks them out. It is all he can think about.

“I’ve lost count of the important letters he has eaten that I thought I’d put out of the way. It’s going to make a massive difference.”

Rachel has raised £15,000 towards the cost of the room and a grant from Salford council in Greater Manchester has made up the rest.

Zach, who attends Springwood Primary, a special school in Swinton, eats everything from moss and paper to stones and thread. His cravings are motivated by texture not taste.

His condition means he cannot distinguish between food and inedible objects.

The youngster barely sleeps but Rachel hopes the room, which will be sound-proofed and have a custom-made mattress without seams, will calm him down and help her and daughter, Isabella, three, get more rest.

“He doesn’t sleep much and I get exhausted, but unlike other autistic children he loves to give me hugs and he dances” said his mum.

CCTV is also being installed so Rachel, 32, can monitor him.

She said Zach’s Christmas Day would be very different to that of his sister.

“Isabella will open her presents and then Zach will try to eat the wrapping paper. I’ve bought him things but he probably won’t be interested in them” she said.

Experts say Pica is surprisingly common with as many as 21% of children aged one to six having it at some stage.

It appeared in medical texts as far back as 1563 and is thought to be common in pregnant women. But cases as extreme as Zach’s are very rare.

No comments:

Post a Comment