We know from research that approximately 30% of individuals with a diagnosed eating disorder, for example, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), and binge-eating disorder, are autistic. In the past autism was not necessarily recognised or accommodated in the treatment of eating disorders, potentially negatively affecting the outcomes of treatment. Some studies have indicated poorer outcomes in treatment for autistic individuals who have an eating disorder. Fortunately, there is now far more research, guidance, and understanding for parents and professionals working in this complex area.
In the presentation, we will provide a research update on our current understanding of the assessment and treatment of eating disorders for autistic individuals. Tony and Michelle draw on their combined experience of over 80 years of clinical experience, and the current research, to provide ideas and strategies to modify existing effective treatments for eating disorders to be successful for autistic individuals.
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About the speakers
Prof Tony Attwood PhD With a remarkable career spanning five decades, Professor Tony Attwood is one of the world’s foremost specialists on Autism. Holding an Honour’s degree in Psychology from the University of Hull, a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from the University of Surrey, and a PhD from the University of London, his credentials are a testament to his expertise. Currently serving as an adjunct Professor at Griffith University in Queensland, Professor Attwood’s impact has enriched the global understanding of autism.
Alongside Dr Michelle Garnett, Professor Attwood co-founded Attwood & Garnett Events in 2019, driven by the shared goal of enhancing autism awareness and understanding. Their shared vision seeks to reshape the narrative surrounding autism to create a world where autism is embraced, and the diverse strengths, talents, and perspectives of autistic individuals are celebrated. This transformative narrative fosters a more inclusive and accepting society, benefitting all its members.
Renowned for his extensive contributions to understanding Asperger’s Syndrome, now commonly referred to as autism, Professor Attwood has authored numerous publications on the subject. His seminal book, Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals debuted in 1998, resonated globally and has since found its voice in over 25 languages, making his insights accessible across cultures and continents.
With a dedicated commitment to practical application, he has run a private practice for 30 years, only recently closing his books due to a long waiting list. Beyond his clinical work, he dedicates significant time to travel, sharing insights and knowledge through workshops and seminars across national and international platforms.