This page signposts some sources of useful information and support regarding eating disorders.
The PDA Society takes considerable care to check the services that we signpost, however we’re not responsible for the quality, experience or outcomes from third party organisations.
When accessing services and support, it is likely that you’ll need to share information about the PDA profile of autism and what approaches are helpful with PDA with all the people (including clinicians) you are in contact with – please feel free to print off or send links to any of the information on our website. We’ve also put together some PDA-related suggestions for healthcare passports.
Keira is 17 and currently doing very well after a 10 year struggle with an eating disorder and difficulties related to her PDA profile not being understood or supported by health and social care. Her story illustrates the life-changing impact when professionals adapt their practice to be person-centred and PDA-friendly. Sharon Donaldson, director of the specialist eating disorder unit where Keira was an in-patient, also shares how she and her team worked with Keira and her family to develop the personalised, holistic approach which was so key to achieving a successful outcome, and is now being shared with others as an example of best practice.
Recordings of our past Q&A sessions, where guest speakers answer questions about PDA and eating disorders, are available to purchase for 30 days via our training hub:
- Eating disorders (Lived Experience) Q&A with Asher, a PDA young adult with personal lived experience of an eating disorder and her mum Paula
- Eating Disorders Q&A with James Harrison, Hospital Manager & Lead Nurse for Autism Pathway, Ellern Mede Group
Research by PEACE suggests about 35% of people experiencing an eating disorder may be autistic or have high levels of autistic traits.
- PEACE - Pathway for Eating disorders and Autism developed from Clinical Experience
- Autism and eating issues: an interview with Dr Elizabeth Shea (video)
- Anorexia nervosa: an interview with Mair Elliott and Dr William Mandy (video)
- Conversation on Autistic Young People and Eating Disorders with Elizabeth Shea (webinar) - Autistic Girls Network
- Food Refusal and Avoidant Eating by Gillian Harris and Elizabeth Shea (book)
- ARFID & AUTISM | ARFID Awareness UK
- Eating Disorder Awareness Week | Ambitious about Autism
- Supporting Autistic People with Eating Disorders: A Guide to Adapting Treatment and Supporting Recovery edited by Kate Tchanturia (book)
- The British Psychological Society: Anorexia's underpinnings differ in those with autism, suggests study
- Autistic Teen's Avoidant Eating Work book by Elizabeth O'Shea (Not PDA specific but Neurodivergent friendly - Parents are advised to read the book before giving it to their child to make sure it is suitable).