Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pica Box and the First Day of School

Today was our first official day of school! Thankfully my kindergartners are doing a staggered start (one started today and another starts tomorrow). The day went fairly smoothly. My room is missing a few essentials that would have made it a little better (mind you I was told all of these would be completed by the first day of school). These missing essentials included dividers, SmartBoard, Vizzle installed on computers (thankfully I was able to login through the web), touchscreen, and a few other small things. The good news is we all survived and the students had a good day!

So what is a Pica Box? A colleague told me about this idea. A Pica Box is used as a replacement behavior for students who eat inedible objects. When the students goes to eat something they shouldn't, you direct them to the box. The box contains items they are allowed to eat. As the student progresses, the intent is that the student will independently go to the box when they feel the need. Here are a few ideas: decorate the box to motivate the child; we are starting with a clear box and a clear sticker so the student trusts us and is motivated by the food. Next idea, use a box with a hole that they put their hand in; eliminate they "hmmmm, what should I pick" game. As the child utilizes the box, switch to healthier options. We are starting with foods that are highly motivating to our student and foods that have similar consistency to the inedible objects the student tries to place in their mouth.

I hope everyone's year starts well! I will post classroom pictures soon!

The research article about the Pica Box is titled: "The use of a pica box in reducing pica behavior in a student with autism" by Nancy and Brenda Smith-Myles.