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Autism and Divorce

Historically, media reports and autism advocacy groups have cited a statistic that the divorce rate in families with autistic children is approximately 80 percent. However, a new scientific analysis indicates that this figure is quite inaccurate.

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore surveyed data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health. After reviewing information from almost 78,000 children, both with and without autism, researchers found that autism had practically no effect on the likelihood that a child would belong to a family with two married parents.

Although research indicates that autism puts extra stress on a marriage, it does not follow logically that these families also have the highest rate of divorce. Researchers anticipate that this study will offer hope to married couples facing a diagnosis of autism in their family.