Eating his way out of the house

A little boy from Salford is literally eating his mother out of house and home, thanks to his constant need to chew.

Five-year-old Zach Tahir has a condition which means he can’t distinguish between food and inedible objects – and his unusual appetite means he is munching his way through his bedroom.

Zach, who is autistic and cannot speak, has an extreme form of a disorder called Pica.

Having nibbled at everything from window blinds to the plaster on his walls, his mum has to take unusual methods to keep her child safe.

Rachel Horn has tried sprinkling nuts on the carpet to divert his cravings and even rips up celery to encourage him to eat it instead of thread.

Now Rachel is trying to raise £15,000 to build a “safe room” without objects Zach might try to devour at their Weaste home.

A special mattress without seams is a top priority.

Diagnosed with autism and learning difficulties when he was three, Rachel first became aware that her son wasn’t developing at the same rate as other children at nine months. His Pica is believed to be linked to autism.