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Presentation Information

Sharon Storton

Navigating Childbirth and the Perinatal Period through the Lens of "Aspergers" and Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Speaker: Sharon Storton , MA, MS, Reg. Psych.
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU

Pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal year are unique time periods in a woman’s life, that impact her identity, agency, and her ability to transition to a new or expanded role as mother. Socially, childbirth is loaded with expectations of joy, fulfillment, and love. What happens when a woman’s experience is coloured by the overlay of autism spectrum disorder? Perhaps her sensory threshold, her ability to read social cues in unfamiliar environments, or her partner’s ability to support her are all challenged by the settings and protocols of perinatal care. In the postnatal period, attachment, infant needs, and physical healing can be intensified by autism-spectrum differences. This presentation will consider current research on ASD in childbearing women, the roles of her family and care team when ASD is present, and will offer suggestions provided by women themselves who balance ASD and family demands in this unique and critical life phase.