Chances are you know someone with, or who is a parent to or sibling of, someone with autism. We know more about this condition now than ever before, and as a result, are better able to diagnose those with autism. As a result, more people than ever are classified as "autistic."
Unfortunately, along with the many other hurdles involved, autism can mean a financial struggle for those affected:
"It turns out, autism is also associated with a large reduction of family income -- a 27% reduction in family income," Mandell says. That translates to earnings of $17,640 less than families with children without autism, according to his study.
The needs of children with autism, because the characteristics and severity of symptoms can vary, are not as clear-cut.
The families raising children with autism, Mandell says, ''are cobbling together services, fighting with health insurance."
The efforts may require so much time that someone's job has to give. "I think what is happening is the mother drops out of the labor market to be the case manager for the child," Mandell says.
And while there are more resources than ever before for those living with autism, there are also more people than ever before fighting the financial battle than can come with it.
Modest Needs helps families affected by autism on a regular basis. There are always requests on the site for financial assistance from parents of those with autism, including five right now:
If you want to make a direct difference in the lives of those struggling with autism, you can search our qualified applicants with the search term "autism," and provide real relief for families with really serious hurdles.
[Photo by Arturo de Albornoz]