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Autism and Grief

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Grief and bereavement affect children with autism as individually as it does any other child. Keep in mind that children with autism tend to think and communicate in a concrete, literal way. Phrases and euphemisms such as “gone for a long sleep” or “passed away” may be confusing to the child.

Children with autism function at a wide range of developmental levels, and this will have a direct impact on their ability to process grief and loss. Some may not be able to understand at all, others may seek a very in depth understanding.

There are many resources online available to help caregivers of children with autism guide them through the bereavement process. Please take the time to explore them.

Autism Speaks: Bereavement and Grief Resources
https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/resource-library/bereavement-and-grief-resources

Indiana Resource Center for Autism: Supporting Individuals on the Autism Spectrum Coping with Grief and Loss through Death or Divorce

https://www.iidc.indiana.edu/pages/supporting-individuals-on-the-autism-spectrum-coping-with-grief-and-loss

Printable: Death and Grieving by Pathfinders for Autism

http://pathfindersforautism.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Death-and-Grieving.pdf

Michelle LaRoweAutism and Grief