Moms of autistic children work less, earn less

Comments (2)
sbrown68 wrote:

While shuttling children from place to place can be a drain on resources, other issues abound.
1. Stress of having any child with a disability is higher than “normal,” but for parents of children with ASD’s it can be like soldiers in combat. Working becomes tough in that circumstance if it is not absolutely required. If you do, you may not operate at peak performance and thus are not eligible for the promotions and raises that others are.
2. Child care. Finding child care for children with disabilities is very difficult, especially as they age. Many home based programs will not take the children because they do not have the training or the staff. Aging out of program based activities does not mean the child can stay home alone. Summers and vacations can be a serious gap in child care. Not many jobs give the freedom to take all the time off that might be needed. No child care- no full time job.
3. Meetings. CSE meetings. Parent-teacher meetings. Meetings with the principal. Meetings with the service coordinator… You name it, it takes place during working hours and that interferes with the day job. The more time you need to take off, the less eligible you are for promotions and raises.

They all add up to needing less work time and earning less pay. We do it for our kids. It is a no brainer for those in the trenches.

Mar 19, 2012 9:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SandraB wrote:

It isn’t just that we have to tour doctors, psychiatrists, nutritionist etc, usually to little avail, it’s also that our children themselves need so much support, so much calming from their high anxiety, and are so much younger emotionally for so long. I have a 14 year old, but I am really at home with a 7 year old who cries if I am not there and he develops a headache.
Good research shows that the cortisol level of mothers of autistic children resembles those of war veterans, perhaps because of the stress, but also possibly because of whatever it is that is causing the autism in our children. We are tired, and in my case at least, it is hard to keep up hope. This too makes work harder.

Mar 20, 2012 6:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.