For several decades, April has been celebrated as Autism Awareness Month – a month to educate people about autism and how they can help. Although it is very important for people to understand what the disorder is, it is also important to understand how it can affect families and caregivers. While we encourage you to learn more about autism spectrum disorder and support those who are affected, we'd also like you to think about and give support to the caregivers as well. Here are some facts relating to the caregivers of people with autism.
- Parents who have a child with autism have a 2-18% chance of having a second child with autism
- It is estimated that it costs $ 17,000-21,000 more per year to care for a child with autism spectrum disorder than to care for the average child
- About 40% of children with autism do not speak, and many caregivers struggle to communicate with them
- Some people with autism require full time supervision
- There is currently no cure for autism, but some forms of therapy have helped many people with autism spectrum disorder
- Studies have shown that parents of autistic children have more trouble sleeping than other parents
Many people with autism are entirely dependent on their caregivers for their everyday needs, sometimes for their own lives. This can put a tremendous strain on parents and caregivers financially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Although there are programs and organizations that can help, it is still a difficult job to care for a person with autism.
Many caregivers are so caught up in the day to day struggles that they do not stop to think about what would happen to their loved one if they could no longer care for them. In many cases, the autistic child would not have access to the resources and care they need if their parent or caregiver was injured, become ill, or passed away. Disability insurance and life insurance can ensure that they get the care they need, even when their current caregiver is gone. It is important that caregivers take time to think about their loved ones future, even if it's difficult while dealing with the day to day challenges.
Caregivers are often the heroes that go without recognition. They dedicate their time and effort to help their loved one, and often do not get the credit they deserve. We hope that you'll do your part as we celebrate Autism Awareness Month to support caregivers and their loved ones and educate others about this disorder.