Oct. 11, 2019, 3:40 p.m.

Role of Grand Parents in the world of Autism

Grand Parents In The World Of Autism – The Light And Support

There is nothing in this world that can be compared to the unconditional and boundless love that a grandparent feels for their grandchild.

Being a grandparent of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is quite like being a grandparent of any other child. Grandparents can play a very important role in the growth and development of the child.Parents have to manage and coordinate a lot of responsibilities.

In these situations, grandparents can be a huge support and sharing responsibility with more extended roles in the lives of the grandchildren.

Autism Spectrum Disorder can bring about certain characteristic features in the child which a lot of grandparents may not be aware of. They want to connect but very often they may not know what to say, what to do or how to reach out.

Role of Grand Parents in the world of Autism and Essential Tips

There are few simple ways in which grandparents can add and enhance their grandchildren lives.

1. Acceptance:

Being a grandparent comes with its own hopes and expectation. The diagnosis of ASD can leave you more worried than sad. Worry for your own children and simultaneously for the grandchildren. The very first step towards providing support is to accept and embrace the new situation.

Read and research as much as possible about ASD. Information regarding ASD can make you (grandparents) understand how your grandchild communicates, social and behavioural manifestations.

2. Offer support and listen:

However old a child gets; parents remain a sounding board and a place where they can always turn to for support. Taking care of a child diagnosed with ASD can be sometimes very challenging which can make parents feel disappointed and downhearted.

They may not be able to speak openly and freely to other people for the fear of being judged. Most parents just want to feel reassured that they are not alone and are doing the best for the child.

You can provide a listening ear, a platform where the parents can feel understood and relaxed. It is not necessary to come up with a solution every time. Just being there and providing support is good enough. Remember you are always looked up to!!!

3. Give parents time off:

Fulfilling various responsibilities of home, work, towards other family members while caring for a child diagnosed with ASD can be quite exhausting. Now and then parents can feel completely stressed out.

You are the next best option to take care when it comes to children.You can help out by taking up some of the responsibilities like taking your grandchild for the required therapy session and give that time to the parents to relax and destress.

The emotional and mental health of the primary caregiver – parents, is also as important as of the child’s.

4. Spend time with the other sibling & get the siblings together:

When a child is diagnosed with ASD, automatically he/she becomes the focus and priority of the family. Often the daily routines become centered around the needs and requirements of the child.

In these situations, the brother/sister of the child diagnosed with ASD often feel left out and uncared for.

You as a grandparent can make sure that they spend quality and quantity time with the sibling as he/she is also a child who needs love and care. This may help the brother/sister to understand and develop a positive attitude towards their sibling diagnosed with ASD.

5. Use your learnings to make their life brighter and more meaningful:

A diagnosis of ASD does not change the fact that there is a special bond with your grandchildren. A child diagnosed with ASD may respond to the love and affection in a different manner. Figure out ways to have fun activities with your grandchildren and connect with them.

This would help make the relationship much stronger and support them in their development.