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Physical, Sensory Experiences Differ Among Pregnant People With Autism

Pregnant people with autism also report lower satisfaction with prenatal health care

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) — People with autism have atypical physical and sensory experiences during pregnancy and have lower perceptions of prenatal health care versus people without autism, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Sarah Hampton, Ph.D., from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted an online survey study to explore pregnancy experiences among 417 individuals with autism and 524 individuals without autism.

The researchers found that people with autism reported heightened sensory and physical experiences during pregnancy and were more likely to experience prenatal depression and anxiety. Furthermore, people with autism experienced lower satisfaction with prenatal health care, including having lower perceptions of their relationships with health care professionals and greater difficulties with antenatal classes, compared with pregnant people without autism.

“This study identifies gaps in prenatal health care for autistic people and highlights the need for adjustments to be made,” the authors write. “These include the provision of information in a variety of formats, adjustments to the sensory environment of appointments, and the presence of an advocate during appointments.”

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