Boy with Autism Spectrum DiorderThe Question:

How does having a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affect parental employment and income?

The Study:

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania compared the working status and income of families of a child with ASD, with another health limitation, or with a healthy child.

The Results:

Mothers of children with ASD earned 35 percent less than mothers of children with another health problem, and they earned 56 percent less than mothers of healthy children. Mothers of children with ASD were also 6 percent less likely to be employed and worked an average of seven hours less per week than the mothers of healthy children. There were no differences in the work status or income for the fathers of children with ASD. Family income was 28 percent less for those with a child with ASD than for those with a healthy child.


These economic findings should come as no surprise. Children with ASD require additional care and treatment that often require a parent to miss work, or not even be able to work at all.

Read More:

Pediatrics, 04/12

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