As deaths related to cancer and the opioid epidemic fall, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is on the rise again. According to a 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy is 78.6 years. With grandparents enjoying longer, healthier lives, they are playing an ever-expanding role in the lives of their grandchildren.
From chauffeuring the grandkids to after-school events to taking them on summer vacations, spending time together can build bonds that last a lifetime. Research also shows that intergenerational relationships benefit both the younger family member and the older one in a number of ways. Experiencing unconditional love, greater self-esteem, and a sense of purpose are just a few.
But what happens when a grandchild has autism?
While most people have heard of the disorder, many aren’t aware of what it is and how to communicate with a child who has it. If you are a grandparent struggling to find ways to bond with your grandchild, these tips can help.
First, it may be beneficial to learn more about the disorder, which the National Institutes of Health says impacts communication and behavior. A few sites that can help you better understand autism include:
Learning more about the disorder will allow you to better communicate with your grandchild and manage their more challenging behaviors.
Here are a few suggestions for spending meaningful time with a grandchild who has autism:
We hope these tips help you become more comfortable spending time with a grandchild or other family member who has autism.
If you are looking forward to a trip to visit your grandchildren, make sure your travel plans include safety precautions. One device that may give you and your loved ones peace of mind is our Mobile Monitoring Unit. With the push of a button, you can talk with one of our 24/7 emergency operators. These devices work indoors, outdoors, and even in the shower!