Occupational Therapy for Pica

Our specialist mental health occupational therapists provide therapy online for people with pica. 

We are a registered NDIS provider and use an inclusive approach to therapy, where the person can be in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

How can occupational therapy benefit people with pica?

A mental health occupational therapist is different from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Mental health occupational therapists look at how your condition affects the functional aspects of your life and work with you on ways to improve this.

Occupational therapy can benefit people with pica in several ways:

1. Sensory integration therapy: Occupational therapists can use sensory integration techniques to help individuals with pica address underlying sensory issues. This may involve engaging in activities that provide alternative sensory input, such as using textured materials or engaging in deep pressure activities, to reduce the sensory seeking behavior associated with pica.

2. Sensory substitution: Occupational therapists can help individuals with pica find safe and appropriate alternatives to sensory-seeking behaviors. By identifying and engaging in sensory-rich activities that are non-harmful, individuals can redirect their attention and satisfy their sensory needs in healthier ways.

3. Education: Occupational therapists can educate individuals with pica and their families about the potential risks and consequences of consuming non-food items. This may involve teaching strategies to identify and avoid dangerous materials, developing alternative coping mechanisms, and providing guidance on maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

4. Behavior management: Occupational therapists can assist individuals with pica in developing strategies to manage their behavior. This may include implementing positive reinforcement techniques, setting up structured routines and schedules, and teaching self-regulation strategies to help individuals resist the urge to engage in pica behaviors.

5. Environmental modifications: Occupational therapists can evaluate the person’s environment and suggest modifications to reduce the accessibility of non-food items. This may involve rearranging furniture, installing locks or barriers, or creating clear visual cues to help individuals with pica avoid potentially harmful substances.

6. Fine motor and oral motor skills development: Occupational therapists can work on improving fine motor skills and coordination, as well as oral motor skills, to enhance eating and swallowing abilities. Engaging in specific exercises and activities can promote better control and reduce the likelihood of swallowing non-food items.

7. Collaborative approach: Occupational therapists can collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as psychologists and nutritionists, to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for individuals with pica. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that all aspects of the person’s well-being are addressed.

It is important to note that treatment approaches for pica should be individualized, based on the person’s specific needs and circumstances. This may require a customized intervention plan created in collaboration with an occupational therapist.

Occupational therapy assessments for pica

We are able to provide many types of occupational therapy assessments online, including Functional Capacity Assessments (FCA) and reports required for the NDIS. Please see this article for more information on assessments we can provide.

NDIS registered provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and work with self-managed, plan-managed and agency-managed clients. 


If your are an NDIS provider or support coordinator we can provide reliable occupational therapy for clients with pica in any location. Refer a client and we’ll connect you to the right clinician. 

Is online occupational therapy effective?

Yes! A growing body of evidence shows that online delivery of therapy can be as effective as face to face. Online therapy has many other benefits too, including being convenient and accessible for people in regional and rural areas.  

How does online occupational therapy work?

At Umbo online therapy is not just zoom plus business-as-usual. It’s much more diverse than simply videoconferencing. Umbo therapists provide an individualised approach to each person, using the latest evidence, and a variety of technologies and engagement techniques.

Umbo champions person-centred therapy. It means the person and their family/support people leads the conversation. We believe that the most effective therapy occurs when support is given in the environment where the person lives, learns, works or plays. Therefore we work with the family, and teach skills to you or to other supporters. This means you’re achieving real-life goals, rather than just achieving goals in a clinic.

We are a certified social enterprise helping Australian families access allied health services.