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Considering the Impact of Neurodivergence on the Perinatal Experience with Ruth Jenks.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this training staff will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a greater understanding of Autism and Neurodivergence

  2. Identify one-way practice can be adapted to improve the perinatal experience for Neurodivergent people within this trust.

  3. Demonstrate understanding of at least one common misconception/ stereotype relating to Neurodivergence and explain a more accurate reality of Neurodivergence.

  4. Identify at least one medical condition that is more common in the Neurodivergent population than in the neurotypical population.

  5. Name and/or demonstrate one way to support regulation in a dysregulated Autistic person.

Overview of the Session

  • Autism- medical vs social model

  • Q&A

  • Small group work - 1

  • Break

  • Other neurodivergence

  • Common co-occurring conditions

  • Intersectionality

  • Small group work - 2

  • Q&A


Small Group Work - 1

Scenario 1

Freddy is a first-time mother in active labour.

She agrees with everything you suggest or offer.

You note that her eyes are very wide and her hands are trembling. Her heart rate is high.

Her labour is progressing very slowly and she really seems to be struggling to cope.

What might Freddy be experiencing?


How could you support?

Scenario 2

Kemi enters your unit in active labour. They appear highly agitated

You attempt to help settle them in their room. You offer the usual obs. Kemi shouts that they DO NOT want to be touched. You calmly explain that they do not have to be touched but attempt to explain what you'd like to do and why

Kemi begins to sob and shake. They respond to your attempts to calm them with increasing volume and agitation. 

What might Kemi be experiencing?


How could you support?

Scenario 3

Amina gave birth three hours ago. Initially, she seemed in love with her baby and excited about entering motherhood.


In a short space of time, Amina becomes distant, and silent, her expression seems blank

Her baby cries and Amina doesn't respond. You kindly suggest a few ways she could soothe her baby and she doesn't respond.

What might Amina be experiencing?


How could you support?

Scenario 4

Tamika presents in early labour at term.


Tamika is coping well. Urinalysis shows very high levels of keotones.


When you ask Tamika when she last ate she can't remember.


What might Tamika be experiencing?


How could you support?

Useful Videos


Double Empathy Problem

Videos from the Autism Adult Train the Trainers Tier 4 - Improving access and involvement of Autistic people in inpatient mental health facilities.

Narrated by: Kieran Rose, The Autistic Advocate

Scientific Directors: Dr Georgoa Pavlopoulou, Dr Ruth Moyse & Professor Richard Mills 

In Partnership with the Anna Freud Centre

Small Group Work - 2

Study 1

Epidural use in labour, over-the-counter pain medication and the gestational parent's diet have all been linked to a greater chance of having Autistic children.

Why do you think this might be?

Qiu et al 2020, Shaw (2013) and Peretti et al (2018)

Study 2

Increased ultrasound in early pregnancy has been linked with the increase in dyslexia diagnosis.


Why do you think this might be?

Hande, P, (1995)

Study 3

Maternal diet has been linked to ADHD in the child, in particular, eating a "healthy" diet, low in processed food decreased the incidences of ADHD.


Why do you think that might be?

Sinn, N. (2008)

Recommended Reading & Signposting

line drawing in black with foliage and stars


line drawing in black with foliage and stars

Online Resources

APUK Resources

We are currently creating a number of resources for Autistic parents and professionals and others who support Autistic parents. We hope to be able to offer resources on many different topics and in many different formats. Please contact us if there is anything in particular you would find useful. We will send out regular updates to subscribers and post on our Facebook regularly with updates.

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