New Autism Speaks Study Links Parental Age to Autism

San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 21, 2015 – In Autism Speaks’ largest international study on autism risk and parental age, researchers have found that teenage mothers and older parents are the most likely to have children with autism.

Autism rates were 15 percent higher when moms gave birth in their 40s, 66 percent higher for kids with dads over 50 years old and 18 percent higher for children of teen moms. Increased autism rates were also noted among children born to couples with large age gaps and when both parents were older, in comparison to parents in their 20s.

The study examined the national health records of more than 5.7 million children in Denmark, Israel, Norway, Sweden and Western Australia, of which 30,000 had autism. The results were published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal.

In light of the results and the increasing number of couples choosing to have children later in life, planning for the future becomes even more essential.
“Caring for a child with autism may be a lifelong endeavor with considerably high expenses such as health care, therapy and housing. Parents are often concerned about how their children’s financial needs will be met when they are no longer around,” said Michael Gilfix, nationally known special needs attorney and the principal attorney at Gilfix and La Poll Associates. According to Gilfix, the key is to create a long-term plan to take care of these costs by exploring the option of setting up a special needs trust.

Parents of autistic children face unique challenges when addressing their long-term needs, especially when the child is unable to work or live independently. In such cases, a special needs trust is a useful tool that provides lifelong financial stability without interfering with eligibility for government benefits.
“Special needs trusts are used to supplement public benefits and pay for services that the public benefits system is not able to provide. Assets in a special needs trust do not affect eligibility for government programs such as Medi-Cal and Supplemental Security Income. A special needs planning attorney can help a concerned parent or guardian gain a better understanding of the options available to ensure a child’s needs are met,” said Gilfix.

Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP
2300 Geng Rd., Suite 200
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Telephone: (650) 493-8070
http://www.gilfix.com/

Facebook: Like Us!

  • The Importance of having an Advocate when receiving Medical Care
    By Myra Gerson Gilfix At our law firm, we have always strongly urged our clients to consider their end-of-life wishes when we counsel them. To that end, we have used the completion of an Advance Directive as a focal point. Even more important, we have advised them that the signing of this important document is […]
  • A Party to Thank our “Peace of Mind” Program Members
    Gilfix & La Poll associates recently hosted a thank-you party in Palo Alto for members of our very popular trust maintenance program that we call "Peace of Mind." Several hundred of our clients are members of the program, which makes it easy for them to stay in touch with us, to attend free seminars (and […]
  • Life Settlement Companies Allow Policyholders to Fund Retirement Using Life Insurance
    The growing life settlement industry offers to buy life insurance policies and continue to pay the premiums in full, in order to help clients cover the cost of long-term care. "Many people are overwhelmed by long-term care costs, which are not covered by typical health insurance plans," said Michael Gilfix, an elder law attorney in […]
  • Michael and Mark Gilfix Appear on NBC Bay Area and KTVU Fox Television Programs
    Michael Gilfix and Mark Gilfix recently appeared together on NBC Bay Area's “Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa.” The episode focused on families in Asian communities with special needs, particularly those with autistic children. They discussed the importance of Special Needs Trusts and their critical role in structuring an effective estate plan. Mark acknowledged the […]
  • Mark Gilfix discusses his background, San Francisco and special needs families in 7×7 interview
    The leading online source for information about lifestyles in San Francisco, 7×7.com, interviewed attorney Mark Gerson Gilfix on  April 6 to ask him about his views on life in the Bay Area, his professional background, and his work as an advocate and planner for autistic and special needs children. The latter issue is a key […]