In their analysis, Hartley et al. (2010) found that the divorce rate in families with children of ASD diagnosis were higher and nearly twice those of parents with children with no disabilities (23.53%, versus 13.81%). The risk of divorce for parents with children with ASD remained elevated through the child’s adolescence and early adulthood; the risk started to decrease when the child reached 30 yeas of age. One of the reasons they concluded that parents with children with no disabilities had a lower divorce rate was the independence the child starts to gain and the relief of stress it has on the parents. This relief of stress gives them the chance to renew their focus in their relationship. Another reason is that, in some cases, the parental relationship is affected by the financial cost that involves raising a child with disabilities (Joesh & Smith, 1997; Reinchman et al. 2004). If a more intensive behavioral int...
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...it website of organizations such as Autism Society (www.autism-society.org) (Johnson, 2012).
Therapist should be very cautious in what he tells the parents, for they might not yet comprehend what is happening to their child and to their relationship. Parents receive the diagnosis and their common reaction is to ask themselves “why?” and “what am I going to do?”. The therapist must then give them the tools and the support they need, but not yet ready to ask for. As seen in this review, community help groups play an enormous part in the parents coping mechanism, for they don’t feel alone with this new journey. If the community where the couple lives does not have a community help group, they should try to establish one, for the statistics (Autism New Jersey) state that there is a chance that they are not the only couple going through this journey in their community.
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