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Published Wednesday 15 Sep 2021

Join neurodivergent speakers presenting on the latest evidence and lived experience at this workshop through the child bearing journey.

Join neurodivergent speakers presenting on the latest evidence and lived experience at this workshop, exploring care for Tangata Whaitakiwātanga (Autistic) and Aroreretini (ADHD) consumers through the child bearing journey.

Neurodiversity is the idea that the range of brain types and neurological functioning, particularly in the areas of sociability, learning, attention, and mood, is quite broad and should be regarded as part of normal human life. One of the biggest gaps in neurodiversity research is in pregnancy and parenting. Join us to learn more:

There are two sessions on TUESDAY 5 OCTOBER 2021

  1. Morning Session (for health professionals and general public admission):  starting at 8.45am - 12.45pm
  2. Afternoon Session (for health professionals only): starting at 1.30pm - 4.00pm. Note you are also welcome to come to the morning session as well

These sessions will both be at the Learning Centre, Hutt Valley DHB. You can attend in person or you can zoom in. They will be zoomed and the zoom details are below. Health professionals attending will be able to gain Midwifery Council Continuing Education Hours.

You may notice that this study day is a bit different. We endeavouring to make this day sensory-friendly for everyone including our presenters and for many in the audience.

A separate space has been set aside for catering. Please do not bring any food or beverages with strong odours into the auditorium.

A sensory-friendly room has been provided for presenters and attendees who require a quieter setting. The sessions will be accessible from this room but persons are expected to bring their own devices and headphones. This space is not available for receiving and taking of mobile calls.

Fidget toys will be available in the sensory room dependent on COVID levels and with cleaning materials provided. Attendees and presenters are free to bring their own to use during panels as long as their volume does not interfere with the panel discussions.

Topics and Speakers

NOTE: Subject to change but current topics and speakers include the following people:

Morning Session:

Autism, ADHD and Disability: Implications for childbirth in New Zealand

Panellists Rachel Noble, Bronwyn Rideout, Amy Taylor, and Catherine Trezona will present on current international and national research and policies.

Pregnancy and Birth

Sam Copeland, Leslie Payton, and Jolene Stockman share their experiences of pregnancy and birth, with and without a diagnosed neurodivergent condition.

Adjustment to Early Parenting

Jeremy Kemp, Jennifer Parker, and Rich Rowley korero on adjusting during the early days parenting.

Birth for everybody and for every mind

Leslie Paton, and Amy Taylor discuss the intersection of gender diversity and neurodiversity during the childbearing journey.

Afternoon Session:

Selected Topics in Pharmacology

Brian Almand, Senior Pharmacist (Mental Health), speaks on selected topics relevant to the care of neurodivergent persons during pregnancy.

Supporting Neurodivergent Persons with Infant-Feeding

Kate Anderson shares her knowledge on how to best support families with infant-feeding.

Sensory-Friendly Spaces

Hayley Jeffrey, the visionary behind our sensory room, discusses her work with tips on how you can make your clinic space neurodivergent-friendly in a sustainable manner

Neurodivergent Midwifery

Hannah Chandler (Hawke’s Bay), Bronwyn Rideout, and Amy Taylor discuss their realities as neurodivergent midwives alongside the practicalities of providing care to neurodivergent consumers.

Why have a Neurodiversity birthing journey workshop?

Neurodivergent persons find themselves in a health-care system often unable to respond to their specific needs.  This workshop continues the korero around helping Neurodivergent persons and health professionals support each other in the pregnancy, birthing and early parenting journey.

This term was originally coined in 1998 by Australian Sociologist Judy Singer, an Autistic woman, to challenge the prevailing paradigm that certain neurodevelopmental conditions were pathological and required a cure. Singer argued in place of the medical model of disability, a social model should be adopted instead, allowing the focus to shift from curing to addressing societal barriers that isolate, disenfranchise, and otherwise contribute to poorer outcomes for disabled persons.

For More information:

Download the current programme along with our speaker bios here.

For more information and to RSVP for either session please email us on: by 30/9/2021

Image courtesy of: Mrmw. (2020, August 2). Neurodiversity symbol [Image]. Wikipedia ( CC BY 1.0

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