My son’s grandparents are the first people he thinks of when he thinks of family. That warms my heart because I’ve made a pretty concerted effort at making sure we go and visit them at least once or twice a month. I want him to know them as long as we’re all around, because I don’t ever want to look back later on and say… If only…..

But for some people, it just doesn’t work out quite the same. I suppose it can be pretty easy to take our children’s grandparents for granted when our lives are so overwhelmed and overscheduled with simply getting through the day to day requirements of raising our special children. I’m here to remind you, though, to try and work in a few more visits with Pops, Papa, Grandad, Meemaw, Mama and Grandma.

In fact, I was visiting with several grandparents lately and guess what? They all had pretty much the same general wants and desires. So they prompted me to write an article about five things they wish you (the parent) would think about in relation to their relationship with your children.

1. Grandparents feel double the pain that you do. They not only feel the pain of watching their grandchildren suffer when they’re not feeling well, but they also see you (the parents) suffering too.

2. This leads to number # 2, which is that grandparents feel helpless about how to help. A lot of parents with children on the autism spectrum try to handle everything themselves so that they do not burden anyone else. Grandparents often want to help but they don’t know how!

3. Grandparents usually have high hopes and dreams for their grandchildren to achieve great things. And just like you, they were not expecting to have to change those dreams to fit into this special world of autism. It’s just as sad and frustrating to them as it probably has been to you.

4. If given the opportunity, many grandparents would love to be better educated about the condition of autism so they know what to expect. If you plan to attend a conference or read a book or take any webinars or other classes about autism, think about inviting the grandparents to attend as well. In fact, one of the things I think is so cool about an upcoming conference in Austin, Texas, on March 31st is that the first day is devoted to parents, grandparents and other caregivers. This is the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation’s 12th International Institute and Symposium on March 31, April 1 & 2, 2011 in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit

5. Finally, please remember that no matter what your child may be dealing with at any given time, their grandparents want to help them too. Don’t be afraid to encourage the relationship and do everything you can to involve them in your child’s life. Ask them to babysit or invite them to go to the park or the movies with you. Teach your child to call or email them on a regular basis, and never forget to make sure your child tells them how much he/she loves them.

Grandparents can play a wonderful part in your child’s life. They can teach them about so many things, and often will be more than happy to listen to your child’s special interests as well. … again….and again….and again! Make sure you nurture the bond between your child and their grandparents. It’s a precious piece of unconditional love that’s hard to find anywhere else!

(This article is dedicated to my parents… The Best Grandparents in The World!!!)

Author's Bio: 

Susan Lynn Perry is the Official Autism Expert on in addition to hosting a weekly radio show called The Mother Cub Show, All About Autism on WorldTalk Radio. She is an accomplished freelance writer and best-selling author of fiction, nonfiction, short stories and inspirational articles. Her latest novel, Hindsight, is what she likes to describe as “fiction inspired by true events”. As the mother of a young son currently emerging from autism, she’s had the distinct honor of becoming an expert in the field of natural, biomedical and dietary interventions that have had a profound effect on her son’s health. Please visit her website, for additional information, and remember…it is possible to help your children get better – you just need to take one step, and then another, and then another……