Jordanna Tait, 25, says her daughter, Dolly, has been on an NHS wait list for nearly a year to see a child psychologist after suffering from a rare disease which sees the family “struggle every single day”
A mum has been left pleading for help after her little girl’s rare condition has seen her eat her way through the home – including munching on walls, furniture and TV remote.
Exhausted Jordanna Tait, 25, said she has to constantly monitor her two-year-old daughter Dolly to stop her eating potentially dangerous items around their house.
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Paediatricians have suspected the youngster to be on the autism spectrum, and suffering from an unusual eating disorder called Pica, which sparks cravings for inedible objects.
Despite being described as a bubbly and happy girl, Dolly’s condition has meant that her mum is forced to keep items around the house away from arm’s reach, just in case she finds and eats them.
Jordanna, who quit her job as a sales account manager to stay at home and look atfter Dolly, says she has been left feeling frustrated at the lack of help for the condition her daughter is suffering from.
The 25-year-old explained: “I’m just exhausted. I’m not Jordanna anymore, I’m just a mum. I love her, she’s amazing, but I have no support.
“As a mother it’s so scary, I have to watch her all the time.
“We’ve had to get rid of everything. I don’t know what’s going to happen next.”
She went on to add that despite receiving aid for being on the autism spectrum, there is no help for her other diagnosis, adding: “A paediatrician has said verbally that she is on the autism spectrum, we’re just waiting for a formal diagnosis.
“I do get help for her autism, she has portage workers from the council and they’re fantastic. But there’s no help for the Pica.
“It’s so petrifying. I really don’t know what to do. There’s just no help at all.”
The mum said that Dolly first presented her symptoms of the condition when she was 12 months old, after Jordanna noticed that chunks of cardboard had been bitten out.
She even shockingly found segments of Dolly’s reading books and buttons from the remote control, which passed through her system after being swallowed.
Then, she noticed that Dolly started attacking at other items around the house – including chomping on her bed frame and other wooden furniture.
In fear of anything passing through her bloodstream, the youngster has to undergo regular blood tests because of the dangers of lead poisoning from the paint of the walls of her house which she eats.
Unfortunately, little is known about Dolly’s Pica condition, the NHS doesn’t outline specific treatment for it.
And to make matters worse, when Jordanna first went to her GP about the issue, she was shockingly asked if she was feeding her little one enough snacks throughout the day.
Jordanna added: “I struggle every single day. Dolly needs constant supervision at all times. We have to keep our eyes on her.
“It’s a very hard way to live. My anxiety has gone through the roof ever since we knew about this problem.
“If I’m trying to read her a book, I have to keep her distracted so she doesn’t chew it.”
She also said: “She’s going to need all the help and support she can get, especially when she gets to school and they need to keep her safe.
“Because she eats holes in the bedroom wall, the doctors are worried about lead poisoning in the paint.”
Dolly currently has a paediatrician, but has been on a waiting list to see a child psychologist for a year now.
The family was on a waiting list for a home assessment from an occupational therapist to give tips on how to make their two-bed semi-safer, but Jordanna has now been tragically told that won’t happen.
The former sales account manager added: “Occupational therapy had told me that she’s halfway down the waiting list so she would be seen in the new year, but now they’re saying there’s nothing they can do to help me.
“I feel like I’m being passed from pillar to post.”
Jordanna is now calling on for some help, as she says there just isn’t any for parents like herself.
She hopes that one day she will be able to set up her own organisation to provide assistance to other parents and children, saying: “I’ve had to fight for everything, it’s one of the reasons I had to quit work so I could help her. I didn’t want her to go through school with no help
“I’m just a typical mum, I don’t know where to go for that help.
“I’d like to set up a charity or something one day to fill that gap. If I could just help one person then I’ll be happy.”
What is Pica?
Pica is a feeding disorder in which someone eats non-food substances that have no nutritional value. These might include paper, soap, paint, chalk, or ice.
It affects people of all genders and ages, but it is more likely to first appear among children.
People with the disease do not usually avoid regular food, which means they are still getting all the nutrients they need.
The reasons that people develop pica are not yet clear, although several scientists have linked it to the nervous system, and have understood it as a learned behaviour or coping mechanism, report BeatEatingDisorders.