While many assessments for autism focus on treating the affected child, the current study tested a new questionnaire designed to take a more nuanced snapshot of the numerous ways raising a child with the condition may impact family life. “We have known for many years that families affected by autism spectrum disorder or related neurodevelopmental disorders are at risk for decreased quality of life as well as family and relationship stresses,” said senior study author Dr. Thomas Frazier, an autism researcher at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “The purpose of developing the scale was to give clinicians an instrument that they could use to go beyond assessing symptoms in the child and look more broadly at the whole family unit and support network,” Frazier added by email.
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Autism may strain family life even before children are diagnosed