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Respite Care Has Big Impact For Autism Parents

Apr 09, 2013 -- 3:56 pm
April 8, 2013 Text Size A A
Parents of children with autism often report high levels of stress, but new research suggests that getting a caregiving break for as little as one hour a week can really make a difference.
In a new study looking at moms and dads of those with autism, researchers found that parents were less stressed and had improved marital quality with each hour of respite care received.
Researchers polled 101 sets of parents from across the country, each of whom were married and had at least one child diagnosed with autism ranging in age from 1 to 33. Moms and dads were asked to individually answer questions about their marriage, their feelings about daily responsibilities like money and work as well as how much respite care they received during a typical week or weekend.
Overall, parents indicated that about 64 percent of their kids with autism spent time with a respite care provider. Grandparents were most often the ones cited in giving parents a break, but moms and dads also reported getting help from babysitters, community agencies and extended family members.
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