Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
Children and teens with this disorder eat a limited number of foods due to sensory issues or fear that something negative will happen. They may only eat 20 or less types of food. They are at risk for having nutritional deficiencies and may not meet normative growth measures. They may be dependent on dietary supplements to balance their lack of nutrition, that would normally be obtained through regular meals. These individuals may experience negative social consequences for not eating foods that their peers are eating. They may stand out during school lunches or not want to participate in social events where foods they do not eat are served.
My practice is located in Theodore, Alabama and I serve the Mobile, AL and the Daphne, AL area. My office is 2 miles off I-10 West exit 17-A. Children and teens who struggle with this disorder are extremely fearful to try an unfamiliar food. I use Exposure Response Prevention to help them face these fears. I have patients bring in a new food and try it in my office. This is a treatment that involves the entire family. Parents are expected to continue this exposure with the newly introduced food daily to several times a day. Sometimes, siblings will help reduce the stress the patient is experiencing during these exposures, by telling jokes, giving support or eating this new food with them. I also use EMDR to address trauma that may have occurred from choking as an infant to reprocess the meaning of this event and reduce the fear of trying new foods. If you have a child or teen who has been diagnosed with this disorder, please contact me at (251) 366-1710.