Presentation on theme: "Children with Special Needs"— Presentation transcript:
1 Children with Special Needs ASSOCIATION OF FAMILY & CONCILIATION COURTSOCTOBER 17, 2014Children with Special NeedsUNDERSTANDING NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS (ASD & ADHD) AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PARENTING PLANSSegment I: Introduction and Prevalence DataLinda Popielarczyk, MSW, RSW
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 challengesIn family law disputes the issues can be complex:Actual needs of the childParents’ divergent views on the needs of the childTraits of the parentsNDD children experience greater emotional, behavioural, social, and often cognitive challenges, which require different kinds of attention from their parents than do more typical childrenSpecial attention should be given to the range of issues and complexities when drafting parenting plans for these separating parents
3 Learning ObjectivesAttendees 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 plansThere 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…
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 populationBased on number of legal marriages projected to end before the 30th wedding anniversaryProjected rate is based upon the actual numbers ofin 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-years2011 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 needsthe lack of data re rates of separationTo be discussed later…
7 Prevalence Data Cont’d Elevated rates of separation and divorce among parents with a child with autism are not well-substantiatedHartley et al. (2010) concluded higher divorce rates among parents with a child with ASD: 23.5% compared to 13.8% among comparison groupFreedman 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 researchThis 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.