Having a child with autism does not increase the risk of parents heading for a divorce, a new study conducted by Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders has found.
Led by Brian Freedman, the study contradicts the long-time belief that children born with autism were the main cause of divorce between their parents. So much so that, the divorce rate of such couples was believed to be as high as 80%.
During the study, researchers scanned data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health. Their focus was on about 75,000 kids in the age group of 3-17 years. They went on to find that about 64% of the studied kids with autism had two parents -- be adoptive or biological. Also, 65% of children who did not have autism had a set of parents. Their conclusion was that having a child with autism did not mean the parents would definitely head for a divorce.
"It leaves many families with a sense of hopelessness about family and relationship. I felt like it was important to get better info about this out there," Freedman said. Also, the researchers were bewildered that from where the 80% divorce-rate figure emerged, with experts in the field suggesting they had found no scientific research citing that number.
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