NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – When a child in the family has autism, parents and siblings often devote extra time and financial resources to ensure the best possible outcomes for the child’s future. A new study puts a number on the financial toll the disorder takes on families each year.

On average, family earnings when a child has autism are 28 percent lower than those of a child without a health limitation, the study found — nearly $18,000 less money for the family per year. “Our results suggest a significant economic burden for families of children with ASD, especially for mothers,” study co-author Dr. Zuleyha Cidav, a postdoctoral mental health researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, said in a university written statement.

Mothers of children with autism earned 56 percent less money — almost $15,000 per year — than moms of children who didn’t have a health problem, and 35 percent less money — nearly $7,200 — than moms of a child with a health issue other than autism.

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