Association of Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders and Loss of Family Income

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PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 05/2008; 121(4):e821-6. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-1594
Source: PubMed


Parents of children with autism have significant out-of-pocket expenditures related to their child's care. The impact of having a child with autism on household income is not known.
The purpose of this work was to estimate the loss of household income associated with childhood autism using a nationally representative sample.
Parents of 11,684 children enrolled in kindergarten to eighth grade were surveyed by the National Household Education Survey-After School Programs and Activities in 2005. An autism spectrum disorder was defined as an affirmative response to the questions, "has a health professional told you that [child] has any of the following disabilities? 1) autism? 2) pervasive developmental disorder or PDD?" There were 131 children with autism spectrum disorder in the sample and 2775 children with other disabilities. We used ordinal logistic regression analyses to estimate the expected income of families of children with autism given their education level and demographic characteristics and compared the expected income with their reported income. RESULTS. Both having a child with autism spectrum disorder and having a child with other disabilities were associated with decreased odds of living in a higher income household after controlling for parental education, type of family, parental age, location of the household, and minority ethnicity. The average loss of annual income associated with having a child with autism spectrum disorder was $6200 or 14% of their reported income.
Childhood autism is associated with a substantial loss of annual household income. This likely places a significant burden on families in the face of additional out-of-pocket expenditures.

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Available from: Guillermo Montes
    • "Parenting a child with ASD involves additional challenges due to the children's communication difficulties, self-care limitations as well as their unpredictable and aggressive behaviours. Mothers are most commonly reported as the primary caregivers of children with ASD and might therefore absorb the majority of caregiving burden (Montes & Halterman, 2008). This interpretation is supported by research showing greater health difficulties and role restriction among mothers who report more childcare responsibilities (Roach, Orsmond, & Barratt, 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Previous research has raised concerns about the quality of life (QoL) of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A better understanding of parental QoL can inform clinicians and policymakers and lead to improved outcomes for both parents and children. Aims This review aimed to systematically examine studies measuring the QoL among parents of children with ASD (<18 years) and to investigate its parental, child-related and contextual associated factors. Methodology An electronic database search was conducted using Medline, Psycinfo, Embase, CINAHL, Biosis, ASSIA, Social Services Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts and Open grey. Results This review indicated poorer QoL among parents of children with ASD compared to parents of typically developing children or to population norms. Variables associated with lower parental QoL within this group included child behavioural difficulties, unemployment, being a mother and lack of social support. Conclusion This review verified previous reports on lower QoL among parents of children with ASD and highlighted potential areas of support. Implications for future research, policy and practice are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2016 · Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • "The high cost and limited reimbursements for early intervention place major financial burdens on families caring for a child with ASD (Hillman, 2007). Children with ASD have more physician visits and medications prescribed than children in general and their average annual medical expenses ($6,132) are far greater than the costs for non-autistic children ($860) (Montes & Halterman, 2008 "
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    ABSTRACT: This article considers the value of intergenerational and specifically, grandparental support, in the management of adaptive tasks posed by raising a young child with autism. The tasks addressed range from accessing early intervention to enhancing family social functioning. We note unique social, financial, and health-related stressors faced by families of children with autism. We outline an innovative, stress theory-based framework, the Autism Proactive Intergenerational Adaptation (APIA) Model, which delineates the role of grandparents in contributing to family adaptation to the stresses of raising a child with autism. We focus on proactive family coping strategies in building resilience and ameliorating the adverse impact of stressors on quality of life (QOL) for individual family members and for the family unit. We discuss barriers and facilitators of intergenerational alliances involving grandparental participation and support.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Intergenerational Relationships
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    • "The costs that fall to families are made up of out-of-pocket costs such as additional non-funded treatments , informal care and lost productivity. These costs are difficult to estimate; one study in the United States found that childhood ASDs are associated with substantial loss of household income (Montes et al., 2008) and informal care costs were found to account for 5% of total costs of young adults with high functioning autism (Cidav et al., 2012). People with ASD, their families and the professionals responsible for their care and education seek to maximise their well-being within the resources that are available to them. "

    Full-text · Dataset · Jul 2014
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