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UNDERSTANDING NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS (ASD & ADHD) AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PARENTING PLANS Segment I: Introduction and Prevalence Data Linda Popielarczyk,

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Presentation on theme: "UNDERSTANDING NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS (ASD & ADHD) AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PARENTING PLANS Segment I: Introduction and Prevalence Data Linda Popielarczyk,"— Presentation transcript:

1 UNDERSTANDING NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS (ASD & ADHD) AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PARENTING PLANS Segment I: Introduction and Prevalence Data Linda Popielarczyk, MSW, RSW ASSOCIATION OF FAMILY & CONCILIATION COURTS OCTOBER 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

7 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% Prevalence Data Cont’d

8 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 8 th 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


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