Updated: Mar 12, 2020
Would you like to reach an Autism Response Team that can connect you with resources to meet your needs? Do you want some basic autism knowledge such as how many boys (1/37) and how many girls (1/151) have autism? Or what percent of persons with autism remain nonverbal (33%)? If so, you’ll want to become familiar with Autism Speaks (autismspeaks.org) which is of course the nation’s most recognized organization in advancing advocacy, research, education, and services for autism. The organization has published “A Grandparent’s Guide to Autism” that can be downloaded at no charge. The publication’s sections include, “About Autism,” “Reactions to the Diagnosis,” “Your Role as a Grandparent,” “Support for Your Grandchild,” “Support for Your Child,” “Taking Care of Yourself,” “Tips for Long Distance Grandparenting,” and “A Letter to Grandparents of Children with Autism.”
This publication is not only helpful, but it also stimulates questions, comments, and avenues for conversation – all of which can be discussed within the Autism Grandparents Club. For example, the Grandparent’s Guide provides results of a survey of 2,600 autism grandparents – results such as “90% of grandparents feel that the experience of facing their grandchild’s situation together had brought them and their adult child closer.” The Guide offers long-distance grandparent tips such as: “Send a disposable camera and ask your grandchild to take pictures of herself, her family, friends . . .” Then when they mail the camera back the grandparent may want to make a little photo album to discuss when they next see each other. The Guide closes with a wonderful letter from an autism parent to autism grandparents that includes a whole list of thank-yous such as: “Thank you for keeping them overnight so we could sleep in; the respite was much needed.” Again, become engaged with Autism Speaks - autismspeaks.org – and read the Grandparent’s Guide.