Parent of autistic children

Goals

To gain a demographic and psychographic analysis of parents with autistic children.

Early Findings

  • Mothers of autistic children are less likely to work outside the home, and if they do it is for less hours and pay than their counterparts.
  • Higher maternal education is a reported correlation with lower behavioral autistic traits.
  • A further two newer studies also found linked between unusually younger OR older parents tend to have more autistic children.
  • ASD is reported across all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic disparities. Even as prevalance grew due to increased awareness and diagnosis, the gradient remain consistent across all three disparities.
  • Though early diagnosis is, understandably, more common in groups with access to better healthcare (e.g., higher income, parent education, etc). Children from traditionally underserved groups received a much more delayed diagnosis, leading to a higher burden of care. For example, even when controlled for income (by using Medicaid children), Caucausian children were more likely to receive an ASD diagnosis by age 5 than Black children.
  • Therefore, it can be inferred that families with higher incomes and who are Caucausian are more likely to have younger children with ASD accessing therapeutic services.
  • Autistic children are also more likely to have an autistic relative.
  • Parents with autistic children report higher levels of general stress and anxiety.
  • As a side note, many autistic people find terms like "autism mom" or "autism warrior" offensive. It usurps the autistic person's identity. Similar, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network reports that autistic individuals ask for identity-first language (e.g., "autistic person" versus "person with autism") to respect that they feel that autism is an inherent part of their individual identity instead something separate or bad. Many autistic individuals also find the puzzle piece emblem offensive, implying they are a puzzle to be "solved", a piece "missing" instead of acceptance.

Proposed next steps:

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