For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), the AED is a global professional eating disorders association whose goal is to provide access to knowledge, research, and best treatment practice for eating disorders.
Over the past 5 years, the AED has been committed to integrating experts by experience into their programs and services, providing an excellent opportunity for parents and caregivers like us to become involved in a professional organization. This allows us not only to learn from the clinicians and researchers in the AED, but to share our perspective and lived experience with them, which in turn will provide them with valuable insight that can positively impact research and treatment.
The AED has many committees that members can join to become active in the organization. One of the committees, Experts by Experience, is specifically tailored to people with lived experience either as affected individuals or as caregivers. There are many members of the F.E.A.S.T. community who are on the Experts by Experience Committee—namely Kym Piekunka, Nicki Wilson, Judy Krasna, Cipatli Ayuzo del Valle, and Suzanne B.
In addition, there are F.E.A.S.T. members on other committees of the AED. Cipatli is on the Social Media Committee, Judy is on the Medical Care Standards Committee, Laura Lyster-Mensh is on the Taskforce for the Development of Psychological Care Guidelines, and Kym is on the 2021 ICED Scientific Planning Committee.
To serve on a committee, you need to be an AED member. Membership gives you access to their online community, including various listservs. It also enables you to join any of their Special Interest Groups (SIGS).
If you are interested in joining the AED, you can get more information here. Parents and caregivers have so much to contribute to the professional community, and the AED welcomes and encourages our involvement.