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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

es living with autism, particularly their concerns about the future. It's unique in that it closely considers and quantifies the very real concerns of parents of children with autism in relation to parents of typically developing children.

    A sampling of the findings:
    -- Parents of children living with autism are very concerned about their
       children fitting into society, with very few feeling their children
       will be able to:

       o Make his or her own life decisions (14% compared to 65% of parents
         with typically developing children)
       o Have friends in the community (17% compared to 57% of typical
         parents)
       o Have a spouse or life partner (9% compared to 51% of typical parents)
       o Be valued by their community (18% compared to 50% of typical parents)
       o Participate in recreational activities (20% compared to 50% of
         typical parents)

    -- Children with autism also are less likely than their typically
       developing peers to have bank accounts (37% vs. 55%) and use electronic
       products like cell phones (9% vs. 41%) or MP3 players (23% vs. 49%) --
       all tools of mainstream society.

    -- Many parents of children with autism report they're "financially
       drowning," with concerns for their children's financial independence
       seeming to far surpass the worries of typical parents. Seventy-four
       percent of parents of children with autism fear their children will not
       have enough financial support after they die, while only 18% of typical
       parents share this fear.

       They also express extreme financial strains and costs associated with
       caring for a child with autism, with more than half stating that the
       cost of caring for my child:

      o Drains my family's current financial resources (52% compared to 13% of
        typical parents)
      o Will drain my family's future finances (50% compare
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SOURCE Easter Seals
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