Autistic Motherhood P.2 Motherhood


Full paper:

Nothing about us without us
Who: Talcer, Duffy, & Pedlow
Journal: Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders
Published: 2021
Title: A Qualitative Exploration into the Sensory Experiences of Autistic Mothers

Sensory Experiences of Autistic Mothers
Part 2. Motherhood

This study wanted to explore the sensory experiences of autistic mothers, the impact on their role as mother, and the coping strategies they employ


This research had five themes:
antenatal, sensory experiences in motherhood, impact, strategies & needs, and diagnosis.

> Auditory
> Tactile
> Body awareness
> Smell
> Vision


Auditory stimuli was reported as one of the main sensory areas which cause stress.
These included:
Baby crying
Child learning to talk
Loud & bright children’s toys

“[The baby crying] was like ice down my back.”


Many felt overwhelmed by the sudden increase in tactile input which comes from having a baby.

“My body was constantly and still is invaded and I find that so difficult.”

“It’s difficult, isn’t it, because I love him dearly, and I know he’s showing me affection, but I cannot, it’s like I’m too full, it’s a painful fullness and my skin’s going to burst, it’s awful.”


Breastfeeding was highlighted as especially painful & overwhelming, and this impacted other relationships in the family

I got very touched out, to the point where I couldn’t stand my partner touching my arm

Some participants reported that their body awareness was different after birth

This impacted their recovery from birth & their transition into motherhood

One response to “Autistic Motherhood P.2 Motherhood”

  1. O Avatar

    Thank you for sharing!

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