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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Hi - we are REALLY desperate to get some short-term respite from our ED daughter and I would be SO grateful for any ideas from anyone in NZ or Australia. We are based in Auckland.

Basically, she is a high needs child with ADHD and learning difficulties who has never liked to eat and doesn't get hungry. This turned into full-blown anorexia about 5 months ago. She has been very underweight but is now only 2 kg from her goal weight, although we are finding it very hard to put on more weight. She still fights every FBT meal though and is constantly having tantrums and meltdowns. I am realising that even if we get her weight restored and the more crazy aspects of her thinking go away, the "normal" we can get back to is still very very difficult.

I am absolutely exhausted, am constantly in tears, and our family is under immense strain. I just need somewhere she can go for a week or two that will enforce her meals so we can get a break. This is too hard for me to ask family to do - she gets horribly violent regularly. I am just worried that if she does go somewhere with other anorexic young people that she will learn more "tricks". Right now, she really doesn't understand things like calories so that does help us!

Does anyone have any ideas? Thank you so much.
Sorry that it continues to be such a struggle. I understand how exhausting this is. 

I can't think of any options that would suitable for this sort of care in Australia. The only respite services I am aware of for children here is with disability services - and would not be available to you as a non resident. As far as I am aware there are no options for respite with eating disorder care. It is such a specialised area that most health services including mental health services struggle to care for those with ED's.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
I'm sorry this is so hard for you now.

If she's only 2kg away from WR, then what you are seeing is what we call here extinction burst. Here is an excellent threat started by IrishUp:

You are closing in on the target and just need to keep pushing, you're almost there. Brain healing starts to take place after 6 to 12 months time post WR, not immediately, but gradually you'll see your child coming back to you.

If I'm stressed I like listening to Imagine Dragons, here is one of my favourites:

D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
I wonder if anyone on the ground at EDANZ (Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand) can point you in the direction of some resources?  F.E.A.S.T.'s Board Chair Nicki Wilson heads up the organization.
Sending warm support,
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou