Written by attorney Eric C. Cheshire

Autism and Divorce - Custody and Time-Sharing With a Special Needs Child

Autism and divorce often bring additional challenges not relevant to other divorcing couples. We’ve outlined a few tips for you that address autism as well as other special needs children. Let’s start with the basics. According to the CDC, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Unlike other developmental disabilities, there is often nothing about how people look that sets them apart. However, people with ASD may communicate and behave differently as well as interact and learn differently from other people. An estimated 1 in 68 school-aged children has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), according to a recently published CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network report. This report shows an increase of over 119%, since the year 2000, in ASD prevalence. This report from the CDC also indicates that Autism is the fastest-growing disability, increasing in rate by 6-15% each year, affecting more than 3.5 million Americans. A government survey has recently suggested that 1 in 45 children, between the ages of 3-17, have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The parent survey results are from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey. Conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, it is the most in-depth study of its kind in the United States. The following are some helpful tips if you are dealing with autism and divorce or you have a special needs child.

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