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Households with kids with autism likely to earn less
Date:4/1/2008

New research suggests that the average household with children with autism not only spends thousands of dollars toward educational, behavioral and health care expenses each year, but also suffers from a lesser-known cost that hits them up front a sizeable chunk of missed household income, perhaps as much as $6,200 annually.

The study, published in Aprils edition of Pediatrics, paints a more detailed financial picture of how expensive life can become for parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder.

To our knowledge, this is the first U.S. study that examines this front half of the money in, money out equation, said economist Guillermo Montes, Ph.D., the studys lead author and a senior researcher at the Childrens Institute, a not-for-profit organization affiliated with the University of Rochester, where he also serves as a faculty member in the division of General Pediatrics. To collect data on expenses is fairly straightforward its a survey report. But projecting earning potential and then stacking that against actual income requires complex statistical modeling.

The study is based on data from the National Household Education Survey on After School Programs and Activities in 2005, a telephone questionnaire that drew on parents of more than 11,000 children, kindergarten-age through eighth grade. Parents reported if their child had an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD (that is, if he or she had ever been diagnosed with autism or a pervasive developmental disorder), their total household income and their highest level of education. Several other demographic details were collected, including the parents age, type of family (two parent or otherwise) and whether they lived in an urban or rural locale.

These data were then analyzed with a statistical model that predicted, on average, a familys earning potential.

To validate the models predictive power, researchers first used it to project the average income potent
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Contact: Becky Jones
rebecca_jones@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-8490
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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