Autism Causes Divorce! (No, It Doesn’t!)

March 22nd, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Divorce 'n' Custody  |  8 Comments

divorce-posterWhy is it that crazy conservative publications are so much more fun to read than crazy liberal ones? Give me the hardcore nuttiness of The New Criterion or Commentary (general, but Jewish; that’s comedy gold) over the absolutely politically correct yapping at The Nation and Mother Jones; and yes, before anyone says it, I work at what may be considered the most yappingest of them all (I disagree, but who am I to say).

But, frankly, I’m not sure what to make of this: “My son has Autism: Am I going to get divorced?” which ran on the website of the loopy conservative Washington Times.

A taste:

I know that my son’s autism has been hard on my marriage. There is an imbalance in who takes care of the special needs part of our lives that sometimes leaves me resentful. Some days I am stressed because of calls from the school or a rough day on the autism front and I take it out on my husband. Money can be difficult too. There is always a need to pay for therapy, co-pays, evaluations, the occasional lawyer—and these are just the money issues that I personally have run up against. Because I am taking my son to therapy and working through homework struggles, I don’t clean as much as I should, something that is a legitimate complaint of my husband’s.

Now, yes, the author says she doesn’t think she’s going to get divorced; and she does admit that although people believe that there’s a higher incidence of divorce among families with autistic children, there’s no evidence whatsoever to support it; and yes, she mentions that raising kids is hard on a marriage no matter what. Oh, wait, that’s all she says. This is an article about absolutely nothing.

Now that’s funny (I’d say even funnier than this similar, but fictional, article in the Onion). Still, gotta love the headline. Caught my attention.

FAIR-AND-BALANCED ALERT: There is a sense among my colleagues at DadWagon that perhaps I’m a bit strident in my opinions. In that light, maybe I’m wrong about this article. Folks, I encourage you to head over to the Washington Times, check out the article and berate me for being wrong … which I’m not.


  1. Deni says:

    March 22nd, 2010at 5:35 pm(#)

    No, not wrong at all. That article was a complete waste of paper, ink and time.

  2. Jason says:

    March 23rd, 2010at 1:22 am(#)

    I’m confused – which one was the piece from The Onion? The first one? Or the one about the mom with the autistic son?

  3. dadwagon says:

    March 23rd, 2010at 11:06 am(#)

    Good question.

  4. Jean Winegardner says:

    March 30th, 2010at 7:03 pm(#)

    Hmmm. I’m sorry that you felt my piece was about nothing. I don’t. I see these statistics all the time that claim that my marriage is doomed to failure because my child has autism. I don’t think it is, and even if it were, I object to the blame being placed on one of my children’s neurological disorders.

    Also, don’t assume that just because I write at the Washington Times Communities that I am a nutty conservative.

    (Also, Deni, no ink or paper was wasted. And I don’t think it was a waste of my time.)

    Carry on…

  5. Deni says:

    March 31st, 2010at 10:55 am(#)

    But it was a waste of MY time. The problem is that you based a whole article around nothing. Without any credible study, as you concede, about the divorce rate among people with autistic children, there was nothing to even bother writing about.

  6. Jean Winegardner says:

    March 31st, 2010at 8:53 pm(#)

    Deni, I’m cracking up here a little bit over the fact that you commented again. I posit that commenting twice on an article about an article about nothing is perhaps an even bigger waste of time. You may have just won me over with that. Kudos.

  7. Kathryn says:

    April 5th, 2010at 10:36 pm(#)

    This is beyond ridiculous. Jean, you’re wrong. Writing two blog comments (who can resist someone on the internet being WRONG?) is nothing compared to writing an article and publishing it in a major newspaper.

    Anyway, the point still stands that you haven’t said anything in your article that readers should care about. I now know your house is dirtier than you’d like and that you and your husband think that it’s your job to clean it. I know that your son has autism and that it’s expensive and emotionally taxing for you. I know you think that there are people who think that having a child with autism puts you at a higher risk of divorcing. But that’s about it. I know nothing that isn’t about you after reading this article. I also know nothing about you that is interesting after reading this article. So, it’s a waste of my time. I also posit that, since it was published in a medium that does go out in print it used ink and paper. Because I think the article was a waste, I think the ink and paper were wasted.

    Carry on.


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