How many lives?

As I described in my recent Huffington Post blog, the eating disorder advocacy world needs to look to the autism world - where parents where once blamed but it was also the parent advocacy movement that brought the treatment of autism forward. Autism is treatable, but not curable. Eating disorders are treatable to full remission and long-term recovery.

I continue to marvel at the parallels in the fields, and learn more about what WE need to be doing.

This ABC Conversation radio show with Tony Attwood is 45 well-spent minutes. Worth the whole time, but start about 20 minutes for a lesson on why the idea that parents cause a brain disorder can be started by one person and continue unabated for a long time by many well-meaning people - causing untold harm.

**Thank you, Cathy, for this fascinating link!


  1. Thanks for posting this, Laura.

  2. I met Dr Tony Attwood in the UK last year when he came to speak about autism and Asperger's syndrome at various venues in the UK. Thoroughly awesome and likeable guy, who has real empathy with autistic people.

    Interestingly, he did mention anorexia nervosa (AN). Accumulating evidence does suggest that autistic traits (especially poor set shifting, detail-oriented focus and perhaps poor sense of self) contribute to the development and maintenance of AN. Prof Attwood runs a clinic in Brisbane, Australia, and described how a proportion of women with AN are diagnosed post weight gain (and recovery from AN) with a high functioning autism. He also described how symptoms of autism in girls to be quite different to that in boys, which is why girls can 'fly under the radar'.

  3. And by the way... I agree that EDs are curable, while autism is treatable (but not curable).

    I don't think that AN actually IS autism, although for some people AN may be a manifestation of autism. But even if AN is a manifestation of autism, the person can still recover from their ED, even if they still have autism.

  4. Thanks for this; it was interesting and informative. And shocking to hear that as recently as two years ago a doc still approached a child's autism by trying to search the mother's psyche.


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