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Autism Therapy

Autism and Eating Disorders Nutrition Counseling in the St. Louis Area, Missouri, and Illinois

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Provide Medical Nutrition Therapy for People with Autism Struggling with ARFID, Picky Eating, Anorexia, Bulimia, Orthorexia, Disordered Eating, and Other Eating Disorders

 

Manage selective eating requirements, food aversions, and sensitivity to the textures, smells, looks, and sound of food. Manage gut health and food sensitivities. Introduce more diverse foods in your diet. Improve your wellness and nutrition status. Achieve recovery.

What percentage of people with autism have eating disorders?

Some studies suggest the rate is as high as 20-30% noting that the prevalence of eating disorders in individuals with autism is estimated to be higher than the general population. 

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Is there a link between autism and eating disorders?

There is a correlation between the two noting that those with autism may experience challenges associated with sensory sensitivities, food preferences, and difficulties in social settings which can lead to the development of disordered eating and eating disorders. The most common disorders people with autism experience include:

Anorexia nervosa: Food aversion and highly restrictive diets can lead to anorexia. Undernourishment can exacerbate sensory-based difficulties. Recent research has found that up to 25-30% of women with anorexia also meet the diagnostic criteria for autism.

ARFID: Because of sensory challenges and food preference, as well as digestive health struggles, some people with autism struggle with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, putting the patient at risk of nutrient deficiencies.
 

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How does autism affect eating?

Autism can affect eating in various ways such as:

  • Increased sensory sensitivities that can cause textures, tastes, and smell aversions leading to restrictive food preferences.

  • Struggling at meal times and social settings where eating takes place, such as sitting still, using utensils and engaging in conversation during meal times.

  • Going long periods without eating.

  • PICA (eating non-foods).

These behaviors aren't always easy to understand, so working with a dietitian who specializes in treatment and nutrition therapy for autism is important.

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What can nutrition therapy do for people with autism struggling with eating disorders?

Those who are living with autism often experience healthcare inequalities because treatment protocols are more often than not for neurotypical patients.

 

Treatment for autism and eating disorders requires a team that not only is aware of autism but is also responsive to the unique needs of the patient during their healing process. 

 

At Branz Nutrition Counseling, we provide online and in-person outpatient and family-based treatment. Our medical nutrition therapy approach to recovery can include:

  • conducting a comprehensive nutritional assessment.  

  • addressing specific dietary needs.

  • managing potential gastrointestinal problems such as constipation or food intolerances.

  • developing an individualized treatment plan that addresses both autism and the eating disorder or disordered eating behavior

  • focusing on mealtime skills.

  • incorporating specialized interventions, such as sensory-based approaches, visual supports, and social stories, to accommodate the unique sensory and communication needs of individuals with ASD.

  • providing education and support to caregivers, parents, and family members to help them understand and effectively manage the eating disorder symptoms in the context of ASD.

  • collaborating with the multi-discliplinary team of healthcare professionals.

  • monitoring progress and adjusting treatment strategies.

  • improving overall health and well-being through a balanced diet.

What treatment is there for autism and eating disorders?

We recommend a multidisciplinary team when it comes to treating eating disorders and autism. This includes, but not limited to nutrition counseling, individual therapy, medication management and even support groups. All treatment is individualized to the person's specific needs. 

Our Team of Dietitian Nutritionists and  Eating Disorder Specialists in the Greater St. Louis Area

Branz Nutrition Counseling is a team of certified eating disorder dietitians who provide compassionate care to those struggling with their relationship to food. Our approach is weight-inclusive, LGBTQIA+, and social justice-oriented, which means that we believe that everyone deserves access to quality care. 

 

We can't wait to meet you!

With locations in Illinois and Missouri, we offer both virtual and in-person counseling sessions. And, we are licensed to provide Telehealth nutrition therapy to  patients around the country.

Alaska | Arizona | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Florida | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Michigan | Missouri | New York | New Hampshire | Massachusetts  | Oklahoma | Oregon  Pennsylvania | Texas  |  Utah | Vermont | Washington | West Virginia |Wisconsin | Wyoming

 

We see clients in person in the St. Louis area, Missouri, Illinois, and from around the country via Telehealth. Learn more here.

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How It Works - An Easy Three-Step Process to Get You on the Road to Recovery

Make An Appointment

What service do you need? Schedule a 15-minute discovery call, free of charge. It is a great way for a dietitian on our team to get to know you and your unique needs.

Meet with your Personal Dietitian

Be paired with the dietitian nutritionist on our team and get continued support with one of our online groups. One-on-one counseling, in-person, or virtual. WE TAKE INSURANCE!

Take Control of Your Life

Heal your relationship with food and your body. Choose the best foods for your unique needs. Get the tools you need to live a healthy life. Receive continued support.

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We Accept Insurance

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