It’s generally accepted that the divorce or break up rate is higher in families who have a child with special needs. There are lots of potential reasons for this including:
|Credit: siti fatimah on flickr|
- extra attention given to a child with special needs means less focus on your own relationship
- increased financial burden
- blaming each other for a child’s disability
- guilt over a child’s disability
These reasons are fairly obvious and there are ways to work through them. One less obvious factor is disbelief. Many parents of children with special needs have a relative who thinks their child is lazy, undisciplined or spoiled, but what if that relative is your spouse?
I personally know of several relationships in which one parent never really accepted their child’s diagnosis of autism, ADHD or other learning disability. Not because they disagreed with the diagnosis, but because they refused to learn about it. It was easier to ignore or deny it.
I couldn’t find information on the internet about the frequency of this type of family situation. It is normal for a parent to be in denial when their child is diagnosed with an invisible disability like autism, but not forever.
Can a relationship survive when one person refuses to accept their child’s disability?
What are your thoughts?