Atlantic guest columnist Laura McKenna breaks a major autism taboo by discussing the impact of autism in families, more specifically The Economic Impact of Autism on Families. This could be a real shock to those who feel that parents should have no input into discussions about autism generally and to those who want to prattle endlessly about the joys of autism as an alternative way of thinking. McKenna speaks very candidly about some harsh realities facing parents of autistic children:
"However, once the parent overcomes that grieving process, they have to endure a lifetime of smaller cuts. The therapy, which is so necessary for the child's success, is very expensive. Parents will fight insurance companies and school districts to cover the costs. Often, they are unsuccessful, and they must deplete family bank accounts. They face hostile school districts and community members who accuse the family of stealing their children's money. Families become drained both emotionally and financially.
Working on their children's behalf becomes a full-time job. One parent, often the mother, either stops working or works less hours, in order to manage the educational and therapy of the child. She must shuttle the child long distances to find the right services. She must navigate the health care bureaucracy. She must meet frequently with teachers and constantly negotiate with the school district to get the therapy that their children need."
I recommend this article for anyone who is looking for a complete understanding of the realities of autism disorders and how they affect all of us, the diagnosed individual, the community, society and .... families with autistic children.