Often starting in childhood, what may first appear as ‘picky eating’, Selective Eating Disorders can gradually evolve into a daily struggle for families. There has been a noted prevalence in children who identify as neurodivergent. It is a narrative that is not unfamiliar to our co-founders, who have first-hand experience raising children with neurodivergence.
ADHD - A child with ADHD is more likely to choose ultra-processed foods and to binge eat due to them having lower levels of dopamine. These children may reach out for these types of foods as a subconscious response to combat that feeling.
ASD - Children with ASD may present with hyperfixation due to their comfort in repetitive patterns of behaviour, and hyperfixation may become a problem over time when they will only eat certain foods.
Evidence shows there is a disproportionate amount of people on the autistic spectrum that are diagnosed with eating disorders, such as avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, due to their sensory responses or dislike of certain food textures.
While this condition may first appear in early years, it is also important to realise that SED can affect all age groups. Adults with SED tend to have experienced symptoms over a long period of time. For this reason, symptoms can often be more severe the longer this condition has gone undiagnosed.
If you are concerned that you, a friend, or a family member is suffering from a Selective Eating Disorder the great news is that it is a manageable condition. At UCU, drawing on our own personal insights and years of professional expertise, we approach Selective Eating with a unique blend of empathy and science.
Through personalised support, we aim to help guide you to a better understanding of the condition and address the underlying, deeper sensory issues at heart. We do not believe in the forceful introduction of new foods or creating stressful mealtime dynamics. Instead, we focus on creating positive experiences with food, and empowering sufferers and their families through a framework of support that aligns with their unique needs.