The prevalence ratio of autism in women is lesser than men. Some researches claim that the ratio is 4:1, whereas others are of the view that it is closer to 2:1. Medication during pregnancy might be harmful for both the mother and the child, hence autism therapy is recommended for treatment. There are instances where autistic women go through a depression phase in their life due to lack of support and understanding by the professionals. To combat the occurence thereof, one must acquaint oneself with the condition and its treatment.
Motherhood and Pregnancy
Foe a clear understanding of the issues faced by pregnant women and the ways to treat them, we can have a look at an op-ed published by an autistic woman. Lana Grant posted on Spectrum Women to shed light on the lack of awareness on issues faced by pregnant women in the medical profession. She claimed that Google provided little help in connecting her to other pregnant women- instead, it showed results that were not required by her. Moreover, it displayed results that were not related, like the dos and don’ts during pregnancy in autistic women.
Furthermore, she mentioned that professionals were not aware of the repercussions of autism during pregnancy, which is one of the more important issues to be dealt with. She added that most of the autistic women remained undiagnosed of autism during their pregnancy. Such may be possible due to the fact that most autistic mothers have high levels of intelligence. However, it is an understatement that pregnant women are more in need of knowledge related to autism, and are more inquisitive in nature than other autistic men or women due to the complications which may arise. There have also been a considerable number of cases where the children remain undiagnosed; hence, a comprehensive research must be conducted on the matter, lessening the problems faced during pregnancy.
Does the Wrong Medication in Pregnant Women Increase their Autism Risk?
The baby’s environment in the womb is one of the most critical aspect to be concentrated on. The brain of a fetus during pregnancy, on average, produces 250,000 neurons per minute. Along with that, experiences which intervene with the process often affect the development of the brain in long-lasting ways. Earlier researchers have focused on a relationship between autism and a number of factors in pregnancy, which include:
- The mother’s diet
- Type and quantity of the medicines they take
- Immune and mental states
- Metabolic conditions, including preeclampsia which is one of the types of high blood pressure
- Gestational diabetes
- Timings of birth and other birth-related complications
- Miscellaneous reasons, like quality of air for breathing, exposure to pesticides or any other negative environmental factors
A Canadian study concluded that women who take certain medications during pregnancy are more likely to have autistic children. However, the overall risk of autism is low- 1 percent of 150,000 children, who were within the age range of six or seven, were diagnosed with autism. According to some researchers, the children of women who take certain medications in their second and third trimesters during pregnancy were more likely to encounter autism than children of women who do not take them.
Postpartum Depression in Autistic Women
Autistic mothers are likely to go through more complications and more severe postpartum depression in their pregnancy than most mothers. They face challenges which are unique, such as communication issues or a speech delay that can aggravate their problems. They face difficulty in multitasking, handling domestic responsibilities, and/or in making the best use of social opportunities for their child. Moreover, autistic mothers are mostly misunderstood by professionals due to other exisiting condistions (such as anxiety and higher levels of selective mutism) and/or because these women did not have the knowledge of which details are more important to share with their therapists or professionals. Further, autistic mothers are more likely to consider motherhood as an isolating experience, and may feel uneasy with asking for help or support from others in parenthood.
During pregnancy, autism therapy plays a vital role in catering the problems usually faced by pregnant women. Keeping in mind such occurences, one must remain aware of the possible issues autism may aggravate, which is a value that Small Steps Big Dreams in Dubai, UAE takes very seriously. Such is the objective of governing officials as well, as they try to introduce ways wherein everyone receives effective autism treatment in UAE and the society is rid of relevant stigma.