Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a lifelong set of developmental disorders that often demand significant resources in time and money from families. In the study, “Implications of Childhood Autism for Parental Employment and Earnings,” in the April 2012 Pediatrics (published online March 19), researchers tracked employment outcomes of parents of children with ASD.
On average, mothers of children with ASD earn 35 percent less than the mothers of children with another health limitation, and 56 percent less than mothers of children with no health limitation. They are 6 percent less likely to be employed, and work an average of 7 hours less per week than mothers of children with no health limitation. Fathers’ employment was not impacted. On average, family earnings of children with ASD are 21 percent less than those of children with another health limitation and 28 percent less than those of children with no health limitation.
Study authors conclude that the results suggest a significant economic burden for families of children with ASD, especially given that these families face substantial health care expenses.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (www.aap.org)