Autistic Motherhood P.3 Impact


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 3. Impact

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


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

> Social
> Work
> Mental Health
& Anxiety
> Overwhelm
& Fatigue


Increased sensory input affected the women in several different domains; social, work, mental health/anxiety, & overwhelm/fatigue

Most participants reported that group activities, such as playgrounds and baby groups, were too overwhelming for them.


Work was an important role for most participants, but not everyone was able to work

“I can’t work because I’m full of kids, of parenting, I can’t do anything else”

Some reported that they took longer to develop an emotional relationship with their baby than neurotypical mothers seemed to take


“Just having this extra person, I didn’t know what to do with him, should I hold him? Should I put him down?”

Many also said they felt more anxious when they became a mother

A major factor in autistic mothers experiences was a state of constant overwhelm and fatigue

“I haven’t got the energy to find a way to cope… I haven’t got the energy”

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