Navigation Links
New Easter Seals-MassMutual Study: Autism Strains Family Finances, Threatens Long-Term Care and Security

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Caring for children with autism is wreaking havoc on family finances across America, jeopardizing current and long-term care and security, according to a new study, Living with Autism, released today by Easter Seals and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual).

"No one expected the problems and challenges to be so severe for families living with autism -- the numbers are stark and point to the pervasiveness of this public health crisis," said John Chandler, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of MassMutual's U.S. Insurance Group. "The study reveals that many families are exposed to serious financial risk due to a lack of awareness and planning."

For example, of parents having children with autism:

-- 74 percent fear their children will not have enough financial support after the parents die (compared to only 18 percent of parents with typically developing children)

-- 52 percent say caring for their child drains the family's current financial resources (compared to 13 percent)

-- 47 percent say the cost of care financially impacts how they raise typically developing siblings

"The good news is that, with increased awareness and the right help, this is one piece of the autism puzzle that parents can begin to solve," added Chandler.

"There's a lot at stake," said Joanne Gruszkos, director of the SpecialCare(SM) program at MassMutual. "By not addressing financial and life care planning needs, or addressing them with inexperienced professionals, a lot of these families could, at the very least, risk losing the government services that are a real lifeline for children with autism."

The study found that despite overwhelming need, most parents don't seek out the help of skilled financial professionals for a variety of reasons, including lack of time, not knowing where to start, and simply being overwhelmed. "Even when they do reach out, the help can be misguided because it comes from financial professionals who are not trained specifically to deal with complex cases involving special needs," added Gruszkos. "Run-of-the-mill planning can backfire."

    The study found that:
    -- only half of families surveyed receive professional financial advice
    -- only 38 percent have designated a guardian
    -- only 17 percent have created a Special Needs Trust, which can be an
       important funding vehicle
    -- only 24 percent have identified living arrangements if the parent is no
       longer living

MassMutual's SpecialCare program is an innovative outreach initiative developed exclusively by MassMutual to provide access to information, specialists, and financial products and services that can help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and other special needs and their families and caregivers.

"Life care planning is a growing area of financial services need, as awareness and occurrence of disabilities and special needs increases across the country," explained Gruszkos. "MassMutual has more than 200 Special Care Planners across the U.S. who have received advanced training in estate and tax planning concepts, special needs trusts, government programs, and the emotional dynamics of working with special needs families and caregivers," she added.

"There is an urgent need for increased funding and services -- especially for adults with autism. Easter Seals and MassMutual want to help change all of this and make a difference for families living with autism today," concluded Patricia Wright, Ph.D., MPH, Easter Seals' national director, autism services.

Results of the study are available at A variety of resources from MassMutual for people with special needs, their families and caregivers are available at

    Karen Lavariere-Sanchez, MassMutual, 413-744-7660
    Patrick Collins, Madison Communications, 617-553-0349

SOURCE MassMutual
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Easter Seals Study Sheds New Light on Parents Life-Long Fears, Anxieties and Critical Supports Needed to Raise a Child With Autism
2. Pharmaceutical Water Markets, the Economic Crunch Creates New Opportunities in Southern and Eastern Europe
3. Eastern Wisconsin Residents Demonstrate Their Commitment to Being Good Neighbors
4. Easter Seals Awarded $100,000 McCormick Foundation Grant to Help Employ Wounded Veterans
5. Independence Blue Cross Celebrates 70 Years Of Service In Southeastern Pennsylvania
6. Misonix Schedules First Quarter Fiscal Year 2009 Financial Results Conference Call; November 13, 2008 at 4:30 P.M. Eastern
7. Agriculture, Health Officials Address Food Safety Concerns During Northeastern PA Tour
8. Easter Seals Elects Kent Schien, Chief Executive Officer of St. Louis-based Innoventor, to the Organizations International Board of Directors
9. Cancer Patients in Southeastern Florida Now Benefiting From RapidArc(TM) Radiotherapy Treatments
10. SCOLR Pharma, Inc. Schedules Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results Conference Call for November 7, 2008 at 11:30 A.M. Eastern
11. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Grant to Eastern Michigan University Will Help Ypsilanti Elementary Schoolchildren Lead Healthier Lives
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... healthcare professionals worldwide today released the results of a survey of educational needs ... and Africa found a growing global demand for high quality online and face-to-face ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... to announce their strategic partnership at the Radiological Society of North America ... Winscribe, global providers of cutting-edge dictation and speech-enabled documentation software, announced their ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Several significant ... coding changes are likely to include new codes for spine and hip X-rays, ... understand the effects of code changes in musculoskeletal, radiology and nervous system sections ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... TX (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... Bayco Products, Inc today announced the ... $11.95 each. Available in a choice of three different colors; red ( NSP-1632 ), yellow ... each run up to 18 hours in constant-on mode, or 27 hours in blinking strobe ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Gift ideas ... Sublime Beauty NATURALS®. All products are available on Amazon or its webstore. , ... facial serums and USDA Certified Organic Sesame Oil for Oil Pulling," says Kathy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... iCAD, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICAD ) ... solutions for advanced image analysis and workflow tools ... Radiological Society of North American (RSNA) 2015 Annual ... November 29 to December 4, 2015. The company ... automated breast density assessment solution, PowerLook® Advanced Mammography ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... SALT LAKE CITY , Nov. 30, 2015 ... Systems (NYSE: VAR ) will exhibit a broader array ... meeting of the Radiological Society of North America ... The Varian exhibit at the meeting will feature X-ray components ... Cardinal CT tube, a line of products from Varian,s Claymount ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015  Novartis will demonstrate the strength ... th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. ... as well as supportive care, including key findings in ... cell therapies. The ASH Annual Meeting will be held ... Novartis Oncology . "We will be presenting ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: