This article was posted on my Psychology Today Blog, The Autism Advocate , on March 26, 2010.
A couple of years a go I was asked to write an article on The Affects of Autism in Families and in Partner Relationships, for the May/June 2008 issue of Family Therapy Magazine. Lately I have been getting emails in regards to autism and marital stress, and I thought I would reprint part of the article here, since the information is still valid. If you are interested in this topic, you may wish to read the chapter on the financial and emotional stresses of autism on the family that appears in my new book 41 Things to Know About Autism (just published by Turner Publishing).
Family life is all about relationships and communication: relationships between two people in love, parents and children, siblings, extended family members. Yet, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are all about communication challenges, misunderstanding of social cues, and lack of emotional understanding, thus affecting every relationship in the family. In marriage, if one of the partners is on the spectrum, there will be more difficulties than the usual marital conflicts. Sibling issues are exacerbated by having an autistic sibling and/or a parent on the spectrum. Communication and social challenges can also impact the adult’s work situation. Grandparents are concerned about the effects of autism on their adult children (the parents), other grandchildren and future generations. Continue reading »