F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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sandytoes
If the numbers reported are as high as some believe, why isn’t this discussed more?

From eatingdisorderhope.com -

According to Janet Treasure with the Maudsley Hospital Eating Disorders Unit, 15 to 20 percent of patients with anorexia also have Asperger’s syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum.

Surely treatment plans have to take ASD into consideration. 
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tina72
I think the big problem is that it is so hard to diagnose in the dark days. Many patients show symptoms of Asberger or other autism while being sick with AN and underweight. In many cases this is a symptom of the AN and no "real" autism. My d showed many autistic symptoms and they nearly all dissapeared slowly with WR (besides those symptoms she had from birth but these are simply the characteristic AN risk symptoms Carrie Arnold described and no classical autism).
The docs often see the patients first in a very bad state with these symptoms and then they are hard to diagnose wether it is classical Apergers or wether it will fade after WR...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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sandytoes
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/link-between-anorexia-and-autism
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deenl
Hi sandytoes,

My experience is as Tina explained. Our son's behaviour in the depths of ED looked very similar to ASD and he was provisionally given that diagnosis over my objections (you don't develop ASD at 12 and childhood was not indicative). Not that there is an issue with the diagnosis but they wanted to persue treatments to ease ASD difficulties instead of getting him to eat. Probably why he lost weight in IP.

There have been many parents on the forum dealing with ASD diagnoses, some long diagnosed and some new. For some they have first come into contact with mental health services due to the ED but investigation has lead to an ASD diagnosis and suddenly many, many quirks or patterns of behaviour in the past make sense. Many parents have been relieved to have that sense of understanding.

And, of course, it is not only in relation to AN that the link exists. ARFID and the ASD sensitivities to texture are very closely linked.

From reading on the forum, I believe that the co-morbid AN and ASD diagnosis can make treatment more complex but the goals are by and large the same - full nutritional rehabilitation, return to normal activities and psychological support for any remaining issues. Some of the adaptations that I have come accross are refeeding on safe foods, respect for textural sensitivities, using some kids respect for authority figures and using rule bound thinking to the advantage of the treatment. All ED treatment needs to be adapted to personal situations to some extent but even more so when there is an ASD diagnosis. You know, "If you've met one person with ASD..."

It may be of interest to you to use the search button with key words such as ASD, autism, aspergers to find threads by our members who are dealing with a double diagnosis.

Warm wishes,

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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