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Parents of Autistic Kids at Risk of Divorce?

August 11, 2010
Categories: Colorado Divorce Info | Author: Harris Law Firm

Study Shows Three-Quarters of Parents of Autistic Children Stay Married

By Denise Mann
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Laura J. Martin, MD

Aug. 6, 2010 -- Parents of children with autism may be more likely to divorce when their children reach adolescence or young adulthood than parents of children without this or other developmental disabilities, finds a new study in the August issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.

Despite this increase in divorce seen as children with autism grew up, fully three-quarters of these parents did remain married, the new study showed.

"You are not fated to get divorced because you have a child with autism, but there is a prolonged vulnerability to divorce for these families," study researcher Sigan L. Hartley, PhD, a professor of human development and family studies at University of Wisconsin, Madison, tells WebMD.

The CDC estimates that about one in 110 children in the U.S have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the umbrella name given to a larger group of disorders that can affect social and communication skills.

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