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Children with Special Needs

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Presentation on theme: "Children with Special Needs"— Presentation transcript:

1 Children with Special Needs

2 Children with Special Needs: Introduction
Children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD’s) such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often present complex challenges In family law disputes the issues can be complex: Actual needs of the child Parents’ divergent views on the needs of the child Traits of the parents NDD children experience greater emotional, behavioural, social, and often cognitive challenges, which require different kinds of attention from their parents than do more typical children Special attention should be given to the range of issues and complexities when drafting parenting plans for these separating parents

3 Learning Objectives Attendees will acquire greater awareness of the unique challenges associated with neurodevelopmental disorders (ASD & ADHD) Attendees will contemplate some of the implications and special considerations for parenting plans There will be 2 case vignettes outlined during today’s presentation, one by Cynthia and the other by Jillian. During my portion of the workshop, I will reference these cases in terms of considerations to parenting plans. We hope that these 2 cases will stimulate recollections of some the cases that have come before you and prompt questions and discussion during our last seggment…

4 Wymbs et al (2008)

5 Prevalence Data: Separation & Divorce
Canada’s national rate fluctuates between 35% and 42%, and has remained relatively stable over past 20 years (Employment & Social Development Canada) In 2008, the projected rate was 40.7%; 2.11 divorces per 1000 population Based on number of legal marriages projected to end before the 30th wedding anniversary Projected rate is based upon the actual numbers of in the previous year

6 Prevalence Data Cont’d
Of note: (StatsCan Demography Division) The increase in common-law relationships has more than quadrupled over the past 30-years 2011 data: 10% of children age 14 and under are living in stepfamilies, which constitute 12.6% of couple census families: Implications for children with special needs the lack of data re rates of separation To be discussed later…

7 Prevalence Data Cont’d
Elevated rates of separation and divorce among parents with a child with autism are not well-substantiated Hartley et al. (2010) concluded higher divorce rates among parents with a child with ASD: 23.5% compared to 13.8% among comparison group Freedman et al. (2010) concluded children with ASD equally likely to grow up in intact biological or adoptive families as their neuro-typical counterparts: 64% compared to 65.2% Considerable ‘folklore’

8 Prevalence Data Cont’d
Parents of ADHD youth were more likely to divorce and had a shorter latency to divorce vs parents of children without ADHD (Wymbs et al., 2008) Parents of youth diagnosed with ADHD in childhood more likely to divorce by child’s 8th birthday (22.7%) than those of youth without ADHD (12.6%) Noted the interplay between child behaviour problems and interparental communication (fault-finding), and, maternal and paternal factors, child age and comorbidity. Requires more research This is the first study to compare the durability of marriages between parents of youth with and without ADHD from birth through young adulthood. They found that married parents of youth diagnosed with ADHD in childhood experienced more challenges to the marital relationship and tended to divorce sooner than parents of children without ADHD. Prospective analyses with a subset of families of youth with ADHD displayed that child age at referral, race/ethnicity, and ODD/CD symptom severity, as well as maternal/paternal education and paternal antisocial behavior uniquely predict latency to divorce. These results are similar to findings of Barkley and colleagues (1990), who reported that mothers of youth with ADHD were three-times more likely to separate or divorce from the fathers of their children than mothers of youth without ADHD.

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