ARFID, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

 

So many GP’s or paeds will tell you not to worry about your fussy eater. I’ve heard quotes such as ‘so long as he’d drinking milk, he’ll be fine’ and the most common ‘don’t worry he’ll grow out of it’

But what if in the back of you’re mind you just knew something wasn’t quite right about the way your child interacts with food. Where do you go for advice and assessment?

These days with over 1 in 5 children being diagnosed with spectrum disorders, isn’t it any wonder why we’re starting to see that these kids don’t just grow out of it? Or carry unhealthy eating practices well into their 20’s?

The Australian and New Zealand academy for eating disorders just added a new eating disorder along side, bulimia and anorexia and it’s called ARFID. Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. What makes this one different to other eating disorders is that it’s diagnosed to adolescents and adults who can’t meet their nutritional needs, typically because of sensory sensitivity, fear of aversion consequences, and or lack of interest in eating or food.

Up until ARFID came about, we didn’t have the worst case scenario for ‘hoping they grew out of it’. Sadly, now we do.

In my study of reports of cases of ARFID diagnosis’s. It comes down to the fact that they were never de-sensitised to food. In one case in New Zealand a boy went blind when he was 14 years old because he was so deficient in vitamins and nutrients. He lived on scotch finger biscuits and milk and was never forced or encouraged to stretch his involvement with food, he was allowed to hide in his room and play games when his family ate. After being diagnosed with ARFID, he later went to a camp where kids like him with eating disorders were living. Kids had to cook for themselves and each other, do the shopping, and do all of the meal prep. It’s not a new idea, when did we stop allowing our kids to help in the kitchen? 

Sensory enrichment therapy is only in its infancy and we’re seeing it as being such a key therapy for food aversions in all ages. To date there are no known effective treatments, but i’m now signed up to the workshop coming my way to be part of the research of this new feeding disorder.

On the 1st of August 2018, i’ll be launching the worlds first online therapy school which teaches parents how to overcome food sensitivities, poor diet and food neophobias, we are currently midway through the pilot testing stage and the 17 parents who took part are reporting such amazing results.

This quote has been taken from the group therapy page: I haven’t tried yet the 4 bowl technique but I had great success so far with sensory playing. My daughter would never try cauliflower but I suggested cooking it for her baby. She cut it, prepared it and then I suggested trying a bit and she was happy straight away. She now loves it!

You too can take a sneak peek at the course by clicking here.  Remember that its due for launch on the 1st of August, so if you’d like to receive a discount code when we launch, enrol and watch your emails for your coupon code.