Marsha Malick, Phd is the respected Director of the Waisman Center in Madison, WI, an authority on families of children with developmental disabilities, and the leader of an ongoing longitudinal study of families of individuals with autism.
A published finding on November 10, 2009 claims that Mothers of children with autism have stress levels similar to combat soldiers. “For the “daily diary” study, mothers were contacted at the end of each day and asked a series of questions about time use, episodes of fatigue, leisure activities and stressful events. The data were compared with a nationally representative sample of mothers of children without disabilities drawn from a study known as MIDUS (Study of Midlife in the U.S.), directed by Carol D. Ryff, a UW-Madison professor of psychology.”
“We need to find more ways to be supportive of these families,” says Smith, noting that the added care giving burden and potential health problems associated with chronic stress can be a devastating combination.”
I contacted Dr. Marsha’s office on July 20, 2010 and spoke to Eric firstname.lastname@example.org. I am awaiting for some words of encouragement to moms who have been so anxious due to their stress, that the courts actually twisted that around as mental illness, and for the ‘safety’ of the child, handed custody over to the father. Most often, those fathers are in denial about the autism from the start which puts the child’s best interest at serious risk. How heartbreaking.
Myra, a mother in Colorado writes an all too familiar story “the reason I lost custody was because our child was diagnosed with Autism and the court felt our child would be better taken care with his father because he can afford private therapies.” All Myra asks for is your prayers.