Families of children with autism may be entitled to financial assistance in the form of Social Security Disability benefits. This will come as welcome relief to the many families who have had to put their children’s special needs first, sometimes to the detriment of their career and their income.
According to a recent report, in fact, it is mothers as opposed to fathers who have taken on the financial burden of caring for their autistic children by either leaving their career, or working less than full-time hours.
This sacrifice, in turn, has had a tremendous financial cost to their families, costing them roughly $18,000 per year. This amount is doubly significant considering the cost of caring for an autistic child is estimated to be more than $3 million over the course of the child’s lifetime.
It is understandable that mothers would be willing to make this sacrifice. Considering that in order for autistic children to receive the services that they need to live life to its maximum potential, a full-time case manager is required to advocate on their behalf. Who else would be better suited for such a job than the child’s mother?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one in every 110 children suffers from some form of autism. This diagnosis encompasses a wide spectrum of disabilities, from mild Asperger’s syndrome to mental retardation. This means that there are a lot of families throughout the country, and in California, who may be suffering financially simply for putting their children first, and who will likely require the assistance of Social Security Disability.
Source: Reuters, “Moms of autistic children work less, earn less,” Frederik Joelving, March 19, 2012