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Having a family member suffering from a disability doesn’t just take a toll on the emotional state of mind. According to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), mothers having kids with autism tend to earn less.

The findings show that childhood autism spectrum disorders (ASD) could just be tied to a range of negative parental employment and the resultant earning outcomes. This is apparently expected to be a direct consequence of the time needed to nurture a kid with the disorder. For the study, employment outcomes of U.S. parents having children with ASD were examined, to calculate the average yearly loss of earnings associated with caring for their young ones.

“Our results suggest a significant economic burden for families of children with ASD, especially for mothers,” elaborated Zuleyha Cidav, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Mental Health Policy & Services Research at Penn and lead author of the study. “Mothers are often the primary caregiver and decision maker, and therefore have to devote considerable personal resources to obtaining health care services for their children. It is not surprising that, because of these additional responsibilities, these women are less likely to work, work fewer hours per week, and earn substantially less than mothers of children with no health limitation.”

The aforesaid sample group was separated into separate categories for families having kids with ASD, those having children with a health limitation that did not include the disorder and families with offspring not displaying ASD or any other health limitation. Mothers in the first category were said to have earned 35% less than those in the second and 56% less than those who fitted into the last category. However, fathers’ employment was not found to have been impacted.

This research on mothers of kids with autism earning less, has been published online in Pediatrics.