All Articles in the Category ‘General’

Marriage and Autism

Part 3 in our series on Autism and Family Life

For a dozen years I’ve heard the statistic that 80% of parents of children with autism divorce and for a dozen years I’ve tried unsuccessfully to find the purported study. I did, however, locate studies whose findings provide evidence that the 80% divorce rate is an urban legend.

Kennedy Krieger study

  • Brian Freedman, clinical director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute used data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health  of more than 70, 000 children age 3 through seventeen.
  • Debunked the 80% myth: 64% of parents of kids with autism remained married compared to 65% for those who did not have a child with autism. This means that the divorce rate was virtually the same, about 35% not an exorbitant 80%. Read full post »

Parental Stress and Autism

Part 2 in our series on Autism and Family Life


With a global picture that seems to get tenser every day, is there anyone on the planet who doesn’t feel it?

Science tells us that a certain degree of it can be a good thing. It’s what allows us to grow stronger emotionally, cognitively and physically. Often things that make us feel a bit anxious are the ones that nudge us out of our comfort zone to trust our instincts, test our limits, take a chance. Read full post »

Autism and Family Life- Part 1

A series on parental stress, marriage, divorce, single parenting, step parenting, siblings, and more.

Today we begin our series on autism and family life.

Warning: this will be a hard look at the hard things about autism.

With 1 in 88 kids diagnosed today, there is tremendous impact on a growing number of families. While more awareness of autism exists, we believe more attention is due to the increasing needs of families trying to do their best with a scarcity of supports and resources. A huge bubble of kids, an “autism baby boom” is making its way to young adulthood with parents showing the toll of years of caregiving. Read full post »

Highs and Lows from the (Sometimes) Friendly Skies- One Mother’s Story

Autism and the Kindness and Unkindness of Strangers: Part 5 of 5

Today’s video is the final installment in a series of blogs that looks at the kind and sometimes unkind encounters that parents of children with autism sometimes face. Today we’d like to thank Suzanne D’Atri, a parent of a child with autism, for sharing her story about the kindness of a stranger who helped during her son’s meltdown on a plane.

After filming and hearing their stories, I noted themes emerging. How about you?

Did you notice how parents apologized for what they perceived as their fault for not planning more or better for every eventuality that might occur with their child? For having to quickly respond when the call was made to board the plane. For not taking the iPad away sooner when preparing for take-off. Read full post »

A Day in the Life of a Social Work Practicum Student at Seattle Children’s Autism Center

Practicum: A school or college course, especially one in a specialized field of study that is designed to give students supervised practical application of previously studied theory

My time as a practicum student is coming to an end. And I really don’t want it to. It is hard to believe that six months ago, I was walking into this clinic, head full of academic jargon and readings, completely new to this experience.

This was my first year in graduate school, and the concept of “practicum” was lost on me. What is a practicum? Is it a job? Is it an internship? Is it a class? As I would find out, it’s a little bit of each of those things. My job was to witness first-hand the particular role that my practicum instructor plays at Seattle Children’s Autism Center. My job was to listen, observe, be present, and be changed. My job was to learn. Read full post »