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The task for therapy is to bring them out of their obsession with eating, or avoiding it.But they have to make "big choices that require a lot of courage".Anorexia has been called the female Asperger's (the mild version of autism).Professor Treasure says: "When I was training at the Maudsley 30 years ago, anorexic girls were treated as little more than malfunctioning machines.The younger one liked to line things up in rows and would watch the same video clip over and over again for hours.
They grab them very much." Second, being undernourished and underweight as a result of an eating disorder exaggerates any autistic traits.
The eldest, Lizzy, 15, is bright, able and verbally confident.
She was progressing well at school until the age of 10, when she was ostracised by her peer group and bullied.
But there was an additional reason why it was unexpected – both her children are girls.
Autism is an overwhelmingly male diagnosis – it has been described as the "extreme male brain".