Is that right? Child's autism raises parents' divorce risk?
You may have heard that parents of kids with an autism spectrum disorder -- ASD -- have an 80-percent divorce rate.
That number's been tossed around a lot, adding an extra level of apprehension to the already stressful experience of a child's being diagnosed with a worrisome disorder.
But it turns out that alarming number may have been pulled from a hat. A study presented last week at the annual International Meeting for Autism Research by researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore took a hard look at existing data and found nothing to support that statistic.
In fact, the research showed, 64 percent of children with an ASD were part of families with two married biological or adoptive parents, compared with 65 percent of children who do not have an ASD.
Those figures came from the researchers' analysis of data regarding 77,911 children ages 3 to 17 from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health.
An estimated 1 in 110 U.S. children have an ASD.
Anecdotally, it seems logical that the stress of dealing with a child's ASD could certainly strain a marriage. But perhaps working together as a team to accommodate such a child's needs can also strengthen a marriage.
Do you have a child with ASD? How has it affected your marriage?
Jennifer LaRue Huget
May 28, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Autism , Chronic Conditions , Family Health , Is That Right? , Neurological disorders
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