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Parents of Kids with Autism NOT More Likely to Divorce After All - featured May 24, 2010

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[Source: CNN] -- Emerson Donnell III had heard that 80 percent of marriages that include a child with autism end in divorce. And he felt certain it would happen to him.

About two years after the birth of his son, he found himself feeling disconnected from his family. His wife, Jennifer, devoted most of her time and energy to Emerson IV, and they rarely had time for each other. His son barely acknowledged him.

"Autism is something you can't swallow all at once," he said. "You're first run over by the truck, overwhelmed and shut down. I sometimes wished I could be the guy who could say, 'I'm out of here.' That's the easy road. The hard road is sticking in."

It's a common problem for families with the disorder, autism experts say.

Overwhelmed by the needs of their children with autism, parents can neglect their marriages. Conventional wisdom has held that families of autism have a higher rate of divorce than others, but a study released Wednesday challenges this notion.

Researchers from Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, found that 64 percent of children with an autism spectrum disorder have married parents, compared with 65 percent of children without the condition.

The authors are scheduled to present their findings Friday at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Read the Rest of this Article on CNN

Tags: News of the Week Autism 28 May 2010 Newsletter