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Eating Disorders and Autism Spectrum Conditions

Research suggests a relationship between anorexia nervosa (AN) and autistic spectrum conditions (ASC). It is estimated around one third of those with Anorexia Nervosa have high levels of ASC traits, such as fixed thinking patterns, poor social functioning and high sensory sensitivity, making recovery more complex (Westwood & Tchanturia, 2017).

Anorexia’s link to autism, explained | Spectrum | Autism Research News (spectrumnews.org)

Evolve and Matthews Hub are working closely to better support people presenting with anorexia nervosa who may have autistic traits, and those with ASC and disordered eating.

If this is of concern to you, please visit Matthews Hub website https://matthewshub.org/ for further more information on Autistic Spectrum Conditions, or get in touch by calling 01482221028 or email hello@matthewshub.org.

Characteristics of Autism, these are not exhaustive and are individual to each person

Do you have:

  • A preference for routines and schedules which can result in stress or anxiety if a routine is disrupted
  • Specialised fields of interest or hobbies

Do you have issues or challenges with:

  • engaging in social interactions with others and a dislike of “small talk”
  • Executive functioning skills such as verbal reasoning, problem solving, planning and organising
  • Understanding another person’s emotions or points of view and recognising emotions in self
  • Reading facial expressions in others
  • Under or over reaction to the five senses. e.g. bright sunlight, noise, tags in clothes, colour, smell, textures of food.
  • Repetitive actions or body movements (known as stimming)

Do you have issues with food and eating? Is this a new issue, or one you have had most of your life? (It may be helpful to ask a family member about this, if you can’t remember)

If this sounds like you or someone you know, these issues you may be autistic traits. If you would like to explore this further have a look at Matthew’s Hub’s website www.matthewshub.org for further information, or contact us for a confidential informal chat. 01482 221028 or hello@matthewshub.org

Other resources are on the National Autistic Society website https://www.autism.org.uk/ There is a great search facility on this website where you can find answers to many questions.

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