Mothers of Autistic Children Pay at Work

VANCOUVER, Wash., June 24 (UPI) — Mothers of children with autism often work fewer hours, refuse promotions or leave work altogether, creating financial hardship, U.S. researchers found.

Lead author Dana Baker with Laurie Drapela of Washington State University Vancouver said the study involved 326 families in Washington and Oregon with a child with autism spectrum disorder.

The study, published in the Social Science Journal, found about half the women worked fewer hours to accommodate the needs of their child — usually doctors and school visits — three out of five had not taken a job because of their child’s autism, 25 percent took a leave of absence, and about 25 percent refused a promotion. As a result, nearly 60 percent said they suffered financial problems in the past year, the study said.

Mothers of autistic children have to deal with extra doctor’s appointments, day-care conflicts and meetings with teachers — scheduling problems an employer could work around, Baker said.

“Instead mother gets reprimanded at work and that causes additional stress,” Baker said in a statement.

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