Impact of employee benefits on families with children with autism spectrum disorders

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



Family, Life Course, and Society | Health Economics | Health Policy | Mental Disorders | Pediatrics


The objectives of this study are to evaluate the employee benefits parents of children with autism spectrum disorders have, how benefits are used, work change, and job satisfaction. We conducted a cross-sectional mailed survey study of 435 families with children with autism spectrum disorders residing in the United States. We received 161 surveys for a response rate of 37%. Families reported using the following benefits: 39% paid family leave, 19% unpaid family leave, 91% flexible work arrangements, and 86% telecommuting. Of respondents, 43% reported stopping work, cutting down on hours worked, or changing jobs because of their child's condition. Having paid family leave was a positive predictor for job satisfaction. Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders have an interest and need for alternative work arrangements.


autism spectrum disorders, family functioning and support, policy

DOI of Published Version



Autism. 2016 Jul;20(5):616-22. doi: 10.1177/1362361315598891. Epub 2015 Sep 4. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Autism : the international journal of research and practice

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID