Babies born to mothers who took
antidepressants early in their
pregnancy are approximately three
times more likely to develop autism.

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Mothers of Autistic Kids Work and Earn Less
Than Mothers of Normally Developing Kids

Thursday, April 26, 2012

According to a new report, mothers of children with an autism spectrum disorders (ASD) earn nearly $18,000 less than mothers of children that are developing normally. The report, issued from the Center for Autism Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, found the discrepancy to be based on mothers of autistic children not having jobs or working fewer hours. Researchers stopped short of saying the income gap is caused by having a child with ASD, but they do believe that the nature of the system for autistic children forces parents to step away from the workplace in order to take their kids to a wide variety of professionals performing different services. "I think it's a case of the mother becoming the case manager and the advocate for the child," said David Mandell, associate director of the Center for Autism Research. "If these kids were appropriately cared for it wouldn't be such a burden for the family."

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ASD affects one out of 110 children in the United States. As more and more children are being diagnosed with an ASD, the U.S. is struggling with how to provide and pay for the care these children need. It is estimated that care for a child born with an ASD costs $3.2 million over a lifetime. What is needed from a legislative standpoint is an array of care arrangements for families of autistic children, so that both parents can continue to work if they choose to while providing care to their families.

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