Worth Repeating: Explaining the Death of a Loved One to Kids on the Autism Spectrum
[Source: My Aspergers Child]
“When should I begin to talk with my grandchild about his grandfather’s (papa’s) sickness that will result in death? How best to approach the subject? Thank you for your assistance.”
The answer to your question would be “the sooner the better.” Kids, even those on the autism spectrum, typically know more than their parents and grandparents think they do. You can gauge what your grandson knows through the questions he asks. If he asks, for example, “Is grandpa going to die?” …he may not want to hear, “Everyone is going to die someday.” Instead, this can be a signal that he knows grandpa’s condition is life-threatening.
I recommend open and direct communication at all times. If you avoid your grandson’s questions, he may ask someone else or hold the questions in, which could result in unnecessary anxiety. Acknowledging rather than disregarding questions can build trust and show him that his concerns are important. This may increase the likelihood he will come to you with future questions.
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