June 29, 2010
Through my Tuesday and Thursday posts I’d like to provide a more widespread forum for parents, family members, and practitioners of children with disabilities to provide practical tips for parents, as well as a place to share their views on raising a child with a disability. These contributions will be their ideas and stories, and not necessarily reflect the sentiments of those of autismmommytherapist.
This week I’d like to thank my mom for all she does for her grandchildren, as well as extend a thank you to grandparents everywhere who are a fundamental part of their grandchildren’s lives. Thank you for all you do!
Tuesday Tips: “As a grandparent, what can you do to help?”
By Susan Preston
- Be a good listener and soundboard for the parents. Be cognizant of the enormous strain and impact that a diagnosis of autism places on a family.
- If you can, conduct research to assist during all the decision-making times. Become knowledgeable of the special education rules and regulations that govern special needs children. Parents often don’t have that time when they are coping with the everyday challenges of raising a special needs child. Attend IEP meetings to offer your emotional support to the parents. Remember, you are an important member of the “team” too.
- Offer babysitting time, even if it’s only for a few hours, so that Mom and Dad can have some autism free moments to nurture their own relationship. They surely need it! The benefits are twofold. As a grandparent you then develop your own relationship with your grandchild, as well as assisting the parents. An added benefit is that your grandchild has you all to themselves—no sharing of time required!