Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Autism Spectrum Disorders Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Child With Autism May Affect Family Income

Study Shows Mothers of Autistic Children Are Less Likely to Be Employed

Explaining the Income Gap

"A big question," Mandell says of his findings, "is why?"

He speculates that many families raising children with autism ''don't have a care system the way other families do."

For instance, he says, a family raising a child with spina bifida, a congenital abnormality, has a clear pathway through the system and knows what is needed.

However, the needs of children with autism, because the characteristics and severity of symptoms can vary, are not as clear-cut.

The families raising children with autism, Mandell says, ''are cobbling together services, fighting with health insurance."

The efforts may require so much time that someone's job has to give. "I think what is happening is the mother drops out of the labor market to be the case manager for the child," Mandell says.

Second Opinion

The findings are no surprise to Dana Lee Baker, PhD, assistant professor of political science at Washington State University, Vancouver. She has also studied the economic impact of autism.

"The size of the impact [from the new study] is relevant and something that will get people's attention," she says.

In her own research, she has found that parents of children with autism often decline promotions and otherwise ''stall" their career due to family demands.

She finds it's not the extra effort needed to care for a child with autism that's the problem, per se. It's the time it takes, she says, to coordinate the services their child needs.

The other obstacles parents face, she says, are ''things like being reprimanded at work'' due to absences to take care of necessary services for their child.

Parents need to attend educational planning meetings, for instance. "The child [with autism] is likely to have more disciplinary meetings [than children without]," Baker says.

This study was presented at a medical conference. The findings should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

girl at window
Symptoms within the first 2 years of a child’s life.
boy playing a violin
How is this condition similar to autism?
 
Mother and daughter indoors playing
Play therapy may undo the disorder in at-risk babies.
preschool age girl sitting at desk
What causes this rare form of autism?
 
High Functioning Autism And Asperge Syndrome
Article
Gluten Free Diet Slideshow
Article
 
Mother and daughter indoors playing
Article
man on bicycle
VIDEO
 
girl at window
Article
Mother hugging teenage son
Article
 
Understanding Rett Syndrome
Article
Home Care Tips
Article
 

WebMD Special Sections