Autism and divorce: Dispelling popular myths

Does divorce affect a child with autism developmentally? Are divorce rates higher in marriages with autistic children?  Let's take a look #autism #autismparenting #divorce

autism and divorce rates

Although it is unfortunate, divorce is a reality for many families. It can be incredibly tough for the family to adjust to the new reality. However, it is better to stay healthy apart than to be in a relationship that makes it difficult for the two of you to function. Hence, in some cases, divorce may be the best route not just for yourself but also for your family.

Autism and divorce

Breaking the news regarding divorce to your children is difficult as is. However, children with special needs and autistic children require extra care and attention in such a situation.

Does divorce affect an autistic child’s development?

One question begs attention: does divorce affect an autistic child’s development? There is no single answer for it.

In this article, we discuss how divorce and annulment of marriage do not affect a child’s development, given that the parents deal with it appropriately. We will also look at evidence that suggests that parents of autistic children are not at a high risk of divorce.

Both parents must be a part of the child’s life, even after the divorce. Parents who are committed to their children will see that their children will quickly adjust to the new changes in their lives. Hence, the parents must be on amicable terms. The parents’ attitude regarding divorce affects how the children take up the news.

Does divorce affect a child with autism developmentally? Are divorce rates higher in marriages with autistic children?  Let's take a look #autism #autismparenting #divorce

Talking it through

Parents can make it easier for their children to absorb the news by being more considerate and understanding regarding the children’s needs. Delaying the news will not do any good. Instead, the parents should work out a strategy together to tell the children as soon as possible.

Children need the assurance that they would not experience dramatic changes in their lives. The most important thing that their children want to hear from you is that you love them. Do not be alarmed if your children show extreme retaliation. With time, they will understand. Your job as a parent is to help them adjust to the new changes in their lives.

Autism and Divorce Rates

Parents of autistic children are frequently under stress to provide care for their children. Apart from it being emotionally straining, it also leads to a financial burden. It may explain why parents of children with autism have higher divorce rates.

According to oft-quoted research by Naseef and Freedman, the divorce rate in parents with autistic children is as high as 80%. However, this statistic lacks ground.

Another research was conducted by Hartley, albeit in small groups. The research found that about 23.5% of parents of children with autism divorced. In comparison, 13.8% of parents divorced with developmentally sound children. This number is significantly lower than that presented by Naseef and Freedman. Although these stats indicate that divorce rates are higher among parents with autistic children, there is little research.

According to research by Hartley, on average, couples with autistic children faced higher divorce rates. However, his research also found that many parents also said that their marriage was “highly satisfying.”

Conclusion

Despite the challenges that parents with autistic children face, a couple thrives through the tough times with the right support. As part of a community, we need to provide as much support to parents as possible.

By The Mom Kind

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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