Parents raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face countless challenges. On a daily basis, they must navigate the complexities that come with maintaining relationships with a loved one experiencing a serious mental health disorder.
The overwhelming stress can chip away at the most stable of marriages.
A CDC press release from March revealed that data collected from 11 communities in the United States showed nearly three percent of children identified with ASD. The statistic represents a 22 percent increase from 2018.
Significant stress potentially leading to divorce
The impact on parents can be significantly detrimental. Couples often experience stress at each stage of their autistic child’s life. For many, the journey starts with difficulties, if not obstacles, in accessing needed services upon the diagnosis of their offspring’s developmental delays. The often uphill climb occurs from there in finding much-needed diagnoses and treatments.
Married couples striving to do their best in raising children with autism can suffer from mood disorders due to stress, exhaustion, and eventual burnout. In many cases, the sometimes-overwhelming household environment results in arguments between parents that lead to serious marital problems.
Statistics reveal that parents with autistic children are two times as likely to divorce as opposed to partners who do not have a child with ASD.
Mental health professionals and families can work together to find the proper intervention that suits the needs of families to foster growth and harmony in relationships. A variety of approaches require substantial involvement of families in the treatment process.
However, treatment for a broken marriage may only lead couples down the path of divorce.