A Qualitative Exploration into the Sensory Experiences of Autistic Mothers

Moyna Catherine Talcer, Orla Duffy, Katy Pedlow

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Abstract

Research has found 96% of autistic individuals experience sensory processing difficulties, and being a parent presents many sensory demands that may be especially challenging for autistic mothers. Despite the high prevalence, no research exists exploring the sensory experiences of autistic mothers, highlighting the gap in current knowledge. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 7 autistic mothers, data were analysed using thematic analysis identifying 5 major themes: antenatal experiences, sensory experiences in motherhood, the impact of sensory processing difficulties, strategies and needs, diagnosis. This research provides greater insight and understanding into the sensory experiences of autistic mothers which can influence earlier diagnosis and inform appropriate support and adaptations for autistic mothers in a variety of different sectors and highlights a possible emerging role for Occupational Therapists.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date12 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Autistic mothers
  • Experience
  • Female autism
  • Motherhood
  • Sensory
  • Thematic analysis

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