Autism and Parenting

OK, this finding isn’t rocket science, but it makes sense, and has all sorts of implications for the people involved and their friends and relatives. (1)

Parents of children with autism tend to be less satisfied with their marriage, have less time for each other, and are more prone to divorce. The time issue may be the key of the three items: autistic children place more demands on their parents.  Time demands add stress to what is in many cases a less than happy situation.

It’s one thing if there are others who know what’s happening and offer to help.  Still another if the healthcare system offers respite care (relief for caregivers — something common in Europe and almost nonexistent in the US).

These parents need understanding and they need help. Where they have a strong support system to help them, they’re very lucky.  Many don’t.

What you need to consider:

  • Do you know someone with an autistic child?
  • If yes, find a way to share the load. It matters.

Sources:

  1. Sigan L. Hartley, Leann Smith DaWalt, Haley M. Schultz. Daily Couple Experiences and Parent Affect in Families of Children with Versus Without Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2017; DOI: 10.1007/s10803-017-3088-2
  2. University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Insight into day-to-day lives of parents raising children with autism.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170321092728.htm>.
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2 comments

  1. Or it can be the other way round. Children in miserable families develop self-preservation mechanisms to distance themselves from the misery. They hide in their inner world, and that’s what is often called autism.

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    • That’s certainly possible. However, autism (correctly diagnosed) is complex and more than just simply retreat into a fantasy world. A skilled professional who really knows the different syndromes and looks closely at the patient can tell the difference. Unfortunately, there are what I’d call “lazy diagnoses” by some docs who don’t do a full workup and who may not have the knowledge base needed.

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