Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Moms with autistic children make less

Who would have thunk?

I was scanning over CNN's homepage seeing if any news caught my eye. Sure enough this article on the "burden" of raising a child with autism managed to do just that.

A new study, apparently, finds that raising a child with autism leads to families making 28% or roughly $18,000 less than those who have children without autism. Apparently this only affects the women (states the study) but the fathers are not affected.

Now by this point in the article I'm screaming (in my head seeing as the children are in bed) at the "study." Anyone who knows what autism is could tell you the likely culprit of this money gap. The therapies, the doctors, and the countless hours of self research. I'm sure you could take this study and change the word autism to cancer. I'm sure families of children with cancer make a pretty penny less than those that are healthy for the exact same reasons. That being said I'm not sure whose brilliant idea it was to research this. Why would it be shocking?

The article does acknowledge these obviously "duh" answers saying its probably because mom is either leaving her job to stay home or leaving it for a lower paying job (probably part time).

I'm not entirely sure why but it was also apparently necessary to bring up at least twice how these children are going to cost society money, $3.2 million to be exact. This figure does extend into the child's adulthood when many will still need services. Once again I'm sure people with cancer are also costing "society" money.

I'm sure this study was thought to be a brilliant idea, but really that's like doing a study on "Why do we use more electricity after 6pm?". The answer is right in front of your face and I'm sure every mother with a child who has autism will look at you and go "And your point is what?"

Is this the medical field's way of feeling they're being helpful and finding answers about autism? Do they feel they need to do something because there is still no definite answer to what causes autism, and this is the answer?

I personally feel the money spent on this study could have been given to one of the thousands of other autism research groups out there. Instead I think someone wanted to feel like they'd found an answer about autism so they searched for an easy find.

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