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Research Participants Wanted!

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The SEDAF team is looking for women to take part in our exciting new study on autism and restrictive eating disorders.


Autistica Discover Conference 2019

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On 27th June, SEDAF members Janina, Charli, Will and Catherine attended Autistica's second Discover conference at Reading University. The conference covered a wide range of topics, from autism as identity to gender and sexuality; from sensory processing to mental health and suicide.


From left to right: Charli, Janina, Will and Catherine

SEDAF's Catherine Jones chaired the "Sensory Processing" stream in the morning alongside Damian Milton. In the afternoon, Will Mandy chaired the "Sleeping, Eating and Movement" stream with Fiona Ferris. Charli Babb and Janina Brede presented SEDAF research in a 15 minute presentation, focusing on some preliminary findings about the eating disorder service experiences of autistic women, from the perspectives of autistic women themselves, parents and healthcare professionals. 


Janina and Charli presenting some results from SEDAF's interview study
The presentation was well-received and Janina and Charli were asked some great qu…

London International Eating Disorders Conference 2019

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SEDAF members Charli and Janina attended the biennial London International Eating Disorders Conference in March as conference assistants. Although they weren't presenting any original research whilst there, it was a great opportunity to network and share research interests with others in the field of eating disorders.

The theme of the conference this year was "putting patient and carer perspectives at the heart of everything we do" and as a result, many of the talks were based around instilling hope, and included stories and talks from those with lived experience. 



One of the conference assistant roles involved social media coverage - more specifically, on Twitter. This was facilitated with the help of mental health blogger AndrĂ©Tomlin (aka the Mental Elf) who also runs the website https://www.nationalelfservice.net/. The "top Tweeter" of the conference won a lifetime membership to the Mental Elf website, and the winner just so happened to be SEDAF's Charli!

Harrogate & District NAS Autism and Eating Disorders Conference 2018

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Last month, members of the SEDAF team (Will Mandy, Janina Brede and Charli Babb) attended and spoke at the Autism and Eating Disorders conference in Harrogate, hosted by the local NAS branch. The conference was well attended with over 300 delegates, including practitioners working in eating disorder and autism settings, autistic individuals, relatives, and researchers from across the UK. There were a range of speakers, with topics covering personal experiences from two autistic speakers, ARFID and anorexia nervosa and clinical experiences of autism and eating disorders.

Will spoke about the recognition and support of autistic girls and women on the spectrum, and discussed the under-diagnosis of women due to a potential female autism phenotype, whereby girls and women present with subtly different autistic traits to the more widely recognised characteristics of autism, leading them to be missed or misdiagnosed in healthcare services.


This lead nicely onto Janina and Charli's talk whi…

Article for Network Autism

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Members of the SEDAF team wrote an article about Anorexia Nervosa in autistic girls and women for Network Autism: https://network.autism.org.uk/good-practice/evidence-base/anorexia-nervosa-autistic-females. Network Autism is a community specifically set up for professionals working with autistic individuals. The site aims to improve professional practice through collaborative working and sharing of information and knowledge. We believe that it is important to reach out to different groups of the autism community to encourage conversation and raise awareness about eating issues in autism. 


A few months ago, Will Mandy, member of the SEDAF team, and Mair Elliot, an autistic activist, talked to Network Autism about Anorexia Nervosa in autistic women. You can find their interview here: https://network.autism.org.uk/knowledge/insight-opinion/anorexia-nervosa-interview-mair-elliott-and-dr-william-mandy.

Autistica Discover Conference 2018

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Charli, Janina and Catherine from the SEDAF team attended the Autistica Discover Conference 2018 at City University in London on 06.09.2018. The conference brought together autistic people, family members, researchers and professionals from across the UK. It was organised by Autistica, the UK’s leading autism research charity, who are also funding the SEDAF project. It was a great opportunity to learn about other research in the field and to connect with other researchers and members of the autism community. 
There was a mix of poster presentations and talks about autism research focusing on mental health, physical health, language & communication, complex needs, social care and epilepsy. There were also key note talks from experienced researchers in the field, including Francesca Happe, Damian Milton, Tony Charman and Sue Fletcher-Watson, who talked about their work and visions for the future of autism research. They raised important issues, including how our understanding of au…

The SEDAF Team Attend INSAR 2018

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Members of the SEDAF team (Charli, Janina, Catherine and Will) attended the annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR 2018) this year in Rotterdam, Netherlands from 9th-12th May. It is currently the world's largest international autism research conference.




The conference covered many topics including interventions, sensory processing, adult outcomes, early diagnosis, cognition, and brain function. Of great interest and relevance to us and our project was topics covering the interplay between autism and mental health, the presentation of autism in autistic women and the inclusion of autistic individuals in autism research, in both a participatory and a researcher role. The conference was an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest findings in autism research as well as catch up with colleagues and collaborators from around the world. It was also great to meet some of the team from our sponsors, Autistica.


Congrats to @YesWeJon receiving advocate …