Autism has been on the rise for years. In 2010 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 1:88 children were diagnosed as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Today the Washington Post ran an article in which the CDC announced that 1:68 children have ASD. This has implications in all areas of law that impact families. For divorced or unmarried parents, co-parenting a child with Autism requires much more interaction and cooperation to meet the child’s needs than in a typical shared parenting arrangement. All families need more support in order to understand and access the services and support that are needed to maximize their child’s potential. Organizations such as Raising Special Kids can provide parent to parent support and guidance. Sometimes the child will need the parent’s assistance for a lifetime and may need a Guardian when they turn eighteen which is a legal matter held in the probate. If you are concerned about a child have them evaluated early because that is when interventions are most successful. When choosing professionals make sure they truly understand the autism spectrum and various medical and behavioral treatments. Equally as important seek support, educate yourself and make sure that any professional the family is working with doctors, lawyers, therapists, etc. understand not only the diagnosis but its impact on your family.
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