Autism and divorce

A study out today debunks the notion that autistic children lead to divorced parents.

‘There really weren’t any significant differences in terms of family structure when you consider children with autism and those without,” said Brian Freedman, PhD, clinical director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.

Advocacy groups for autism have often quoted the 80-percent figure but nobody seems to know where it came from. There appear to have been no studies examining the divorce rate of parents of autistic children.

But there’s been evidence that it’s a made-up number. In a 2008 study, Easter Seals reported that only one-third of divorced parents of autistic children said the stress of a special needs child contributed to the end of the marriage.