News flash! Mom's of autistic kids make less money!

Hello! Tell us something we don’t know. The first time I read about the amazing epiphany that a cutting edge researcher came up with regarding the under productive nature of the mother of a child with autism, my spouse and I had a good chuckle.

It’s 14 years later and this “
new” breakthrough, published in the Journal Pediatrics in 2012, has just been reported around the world by Reuters News. In 1998, researchers noted that women with disabled children were disproportionately employed part-time. In 2012, it was reported that mothers of children with autism earn 56% less than those without a disabled child, they are employed less, and when employed, work 7 hours a week less than mothers of non-disabled children.

Don’t you think it’s time to solve this problem instead of rediscovering it with ever increasing precision over the years? Any parent of a children afflicted with autism can give you a content analysis of their day. It’s full of managing crises, coordinating schedules, managing treatment teams, and completing paperwork. Added to this is the daunting task of functioning as the child’s rights advocate, in seemingly endless struggles with government functionaries in educational, medical, social welfare and legal departments.

The Solution? It’s easy to say, but hard to achieve. The sooner parents of children with autism have access to high quality treatment and education for their child from the moment of diagnosis to adulthood, and humane living arrangements for their adult disabled children, the sooner parents will be able to concentrate more energy on their careers instead of disproportionate effort on their child’s well-being and equal access to services and education. Until such time, be prepared to see more of these “groundbreaking”research articles that measure yet another aspect of human misery.

The Dignity of a Job

Once your child has graduated from high school, whether in the typical educational stream or in the special education stream, the next question you need to ask is: How is he or she going to make a living?

Some of you may be thinking: “Is this realistic?” Yes, it is. Read more...

The Power of Obsession

Most parents of a child with autism know that children with autism spend an inordinately long period of time on narrow interests. Read more...

Autism and the Role of Music

Screen shot 2011-09-12 at 5.54.44 PM
If you have a child with autism who enjoys music, should you do anything about it? Although many people would like to use music as therapy, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there is no data to support music as a treatment; however, music can be used as a great mainstreaming venue (and, in a few cases, a possible career choice).


Autism after 16: A website worth checking out

The internet inundates us daily with information that competes for our valuable time; as a result, good resources are often buried under mediocrity. I was fortunate to have someone introduce me to the site Autism after 16, Read more...

The Perverse Incentive to Stay Unemployed

As parents who engage in a herculean effort (on a daily basis) to provide treatment for our children with the goal that they will eventually enter the workforce and ultimately be taxpayers, I have some sobering news for you: the incentive structure that some government bureaucracies create is so warped that you actually have to go against your child’s economic self interest to help your adult child join the workforce. Huh...? Yes, you read that correctly! Let me put it simply: It is against your child’s best interest to join the workforce even if s/he has a skill. Read more...