Our approach to treating eating disorders is to integrate all of the new research findings into treatment while providing the most effective care we possibly can. Clients are first worked with to ensure that they're medically stable. Safety and healthy are always the most important treatment goals.
Every child with a feeding disorder is different, but they most often have some kind of difficulty that's related to either eating or drinking. Some might not eat anything while others eat only a small amount so that they don't gain any real weight or grow. While some might only eat certain foods and end up with an unbalanced diet as a result, some have problems with chewing or swallowing period.
It's important when treating eating disorders to look at each child individually and develop treatment goals based on data to help them eat the right amount for their age. No two plans or patients are ever alike, and outcomes are constantly reviewed throughout the program. Parents and caregivers are important when it comes to the success of the child, and they're always actively involved in the treatment process.
Children who are medically stable can enjoy additional activities over time. We use healthy active groups when treating eating disorders. Activities like dancing, fitness, yoga and walks help to encourage a safe responsible level of exercise. Rehabilitating the body is very important while reinforcing ideas of a healthy body image is key.
Working Toward Treatment Goals
Our ultimate goal is to let patients build up the confidence and skills needed to let go of their pattern. All other treatment goals are made with this one in mind. Patterns of binging, purging, compulsive exercise or restrictive eating are often hard to break. Treating eating disorders requires empowering patients to break these cycles, and the primary goal is to help children establish good eating patterns that can then be maintained in the home or any other environment.
Compassionate and informed involvement from parents is extremely important. Therapy focuses often on individual work, however. Adolescents can develop self-directedness that helps them to stay committed to their goals. Peer isolation, muscle loss and poor metabolism are major issues when treating eating disorders at this stage of development. We measure success with many metrics, such as a marked decrease in the number of tube feedings or a decrease in any inappropriate behaviours at mealtime.
Setting realistic treatment goals and working toward them is a very important part of our approach. As well as medical and meal therapy techniques, we have incorporated other evidence-based approaches. These include exercise programmes.
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