Grandparents of Grandchildren with Autism on Mother’s Day

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Grandparents of Grandchildren with Autism on Mother’s Day

May 4, 2015, ACES

Mothers Day, Mom and ChildGrandparents frequently play a critical part in supporting and encouraging their child raising a child with autism. Families with involved grandparents can lead to better outcomes not only for the child, but also for the grandparents. Your participation in your child’s family activities keeps you content and fulfilled with purpose... and helps manage a busy home with a child with autistim.

Of course, grandparents must be educated about autism and the grandchild’s specific issues in order for your child’s family to make the most of your support. Autism Speaks provides a toolkit for grandparents that can be found here:

Once acceptance and understanding of the diagnosis has set in, you can and want to help contribute in a significant way, especially on important days like Mother’s Day.

Here are five helpful tips for how grandparents can help make Mother’s Day an extra special day for the mom, for you, and for your grandchild with autism.

  1. Engage the grandchild in a craft activity to give as a gift to mom (preferably something he is interested in). You may need assistance from the dad in preparing the necessary supplies, signs and instructions. It is ok to ask for help. The end result will be worth it. Take pictures and include them with the gift. Mom will love it.
  2. Offer to babysit for a few hours or even overnight so mom can unwind and spend time with her spouse. This presumes you have established a predictable role in your grandchild’s life; otherwise, this may not be a good idea. If you have done this before, ask the dad to prepare the grandchild in the days leading up to Mother’s Day so he is not caught off guard when the time comes.
  3. Continue to learn effective techniques for interacting with your grandchild with autism. Use this knowledge to help teach him the importance of giving to others and that mommy is super special. It is key for your grandchild to see you as a role model in expressing your love for his mother.
  4. Prepare a no-fuss meal and take it to their house on Mother’s Day. Check with dad on which meal would be best and make sure it meets the dietary requirements of your grandchild with autism! Mom will really appreciate the break from the kitchen.
  5. Be very positive and accommodating to the mother on Mother’s Day. Her struggle is real. Remaining physically and emotionally healthy is important to her parenting a child with autism. Offer to take over her daily routines for Mother’s Day and she will be very grateful to you. She will happily prepare you a list.

It can be difficult to cultivate a connection with your grandchild with autism but keep trying. Be patient and persistent. Don’t hesitate to ask for help or clarification from the parents. Your extra effort for Mother’s Day is a gift for the whole family.