As this issue’s Perspective notes, research has consistently shown that autistic people disproportionately experience eating disorders, with the prevalence ranging from 1.4% to 7.9% among autistic people compared to a range of 0.6% to 2.8% in the population overall. Despite this prevalence, few eating disorder recovery resources exist that specifically address the needs of autistic people.
PEACE aims to fill this gap. PEACE, or Pathway for Eating disorders and Autism developed from Clinical Experience, provides resources for autistic people with eating disorders, those who care for them, and those who provide clinical support. Kate Tchanturia, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at King’s College London, created the website as part of a research study in January 2019. The PEACE team has since published a book, scientific papers, and a website. These publications were developed through the process of working with those seeking treatment, their families, and their clinicians.
- Informational guides: Some resources target typical eating disorder topics, like meal support, through an autism-specific lens. Other resources cover topics that are specific to the overlap between autism and eating disorders, such as sensory sensitivities.
- Worksheets: PEACE’s worksheets are designed to be completed by autistic individuals in eating disorder recovery. For example, PEACE offers a worksheet for developing back-up plans when a meal-related expectation does not go as anticipated.
- Blog: The PEACE blog posts include personal stories as well as those offering advice.
Although many of the organizations that PEACE links to are specific to the United Kingdom, where the project is based, the resources it provides are informative and useful for autistic people in eating disorder recovery and those who support them, no matter where they live.