Being a parent is a tremendous responsibility. The responsibilities and challenges associated with raising and caring for a child with a disability are nearly insurmountable. The amount of extra care and therapy required to raise a child with a disability, force parents to make several difficult decisions that often impact their family’s financial wellbeing.
A new report that examined families with autistic children, found that mothers of autistic children worked and earned less than mothers of children without a disability. In fact, the report indicates mothers of autistic children earned nearly half of what other mothers earn.
Researchers believe the discrepancies are the result of many mothers of autistic children taking on the time consuming responsibilities associated with raising an autistic child. Mothers essentially take over the case worker role and become their child’s caregiver, therapist, transporter and main advocate. While many mothers likely wouldn’t have it any other way, the report indicates many don’t have a choice.
Funding for programs benefiting children with disabilities like autism are constantly being cut or qualifications for inclusion in the programs that do exist changed. This leaves parents with few to no options on how to ensure their child is getting the help they need.
Government assistance programs like social security disability can go a long way in helping parents who are forced to cut back work hours to care for their child make ends meet. Parents in West Virginia who have a child with a disability like autism should ensure they secure SSDI benefits to help secure the financial means to care for their child.
Source: Reuters, “Moms of autistic children work less, earn less,” Frederik Joelving, Mar. 19, 2012