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Easter Seals' Study Sheds New Light on Parents' Life-Long Fears, Anxieties and Critical Supports Needed to Raise a Child With Autism
Date:12/16/2008

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents of children with autism are struggling with a host of worries that impact every aspect of their lives, and are particularly fearful that their family will lack the life-long supports needed to address the significant challenges of autism, according to a new study released today by Easter Seals and made possible by MassMutual Financial Group.

Easter Seals' Living with Autism Study results reveal parents raising children with autism are very concerned about the future independence of their children. In fact, they're far more concerned than parents of typically developing children -- nearly 80 percent say they're extremely or very concerned about their children's independence as an adult, compared to only 32 percent of other parents. This is especially true when it comes to their financial independence, quality of life, social and inter-personal connections, and employment and housing opportunities -- and with good reason.

Autism is a growing public health crisis, with millions of families desperate for solutions and resources. Easter Seals and others in the autism community are doing their best, but current systems, structures and resources to help people with autism and their families do not adequately meet the growing need, especially for adults with autism.

"The study quantifies what we've heard anecdotally over the years," says Patricia Wright, Ph.D., MPH, Easter Seals national director, autism services. "The one consistent message Easter Seals hears from the families we serve -- after the initial apprehension and anxiety of learning their child has autism -- is an overwhelming concern about the life-long supports their child with autism may need to be independent."

Study Shows Parents' Hope for Independence...Financial and Otherwise

The nationwide study provides new insight into the ongoing challenges facing individuals and famili
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SOURCE Easter Seals
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