Western Mass News aired a story featuring Walden’s Amanda Smith and one of our amazing alumni, Layla, who received treatment in our program for kids with ARFID – avoidant restrictive food intake disorder. In the story, Amanda suggested parents should watch for subtle changes in behavior.
“Suddenly, now your adolescent who loved to eat dinner doesn’t want to eat with the family anymore. Maybe they’re eating by themselves in their room…They don’t want to take their sweatshirt off in front of others or as warmer weather comes. They’re staying more inside, bundled up,” Smith added.
Though it may come from a place of concern, saying “just eat” is never the answer, she cautioned.

Special thank you to Layla and Karen, Layla’s stepmom, for their bravery in sharing their experience with the hope that it will help others.