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WHO ARE YOU - GRANDPARENT OR RELATIVE

Grandparent or Relative
A Pew Research Center analysis of Census data reports that 1 in 10 children in the United States lives with a grandparent. This ratio increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007 to 2008, the first year of the recession. About 41 percent of those children are being raised primarily by the grandparent. And, nearly 20 percent of grandparent caregivers are living below the poverty level. (US Department of Health and Human Services).

Check with your state office of disabilities to determine the support for Grandparents raising their grandchildren. In Illinois, over 200,000 children under the age of 18 are living in a grandparent-headed home. More than 100,000 grandparents are caring for their grandchildren. The Illinois Department on Aging, in cooperation with the Illinois Task Force on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, works to locate, assist and promote awareness of older caregivers who are currently raising their family's children. Grandparents and older relatives over the age of 55 raising grandchildren/children are also eligible for services.

Is your state doing anything to help grandparents raising their grandchildren?

More than 2,600 grandparents from across the United States have taken a survey about having a grandchild with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). What insights have they shared? When a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the impact is felt beyond the nuclear family. Grandparents, too, cope with grief, search for answers, and try to define their role in this new situation. They may work hard to build a relationship with their affected grandchild and to support their adult child, the parent. Experiences are remarkably diverse, but one thing is clear: grandparents often play a major part and experience their own stresses and triumphs in these families. (Interactive Autism Network).

Autism support groups for grandparents
The Grandparent Autism Network informs grandparents about autism and the medical, educational, legal and social issues that affect their families, enabling them to share how they may improve the quality of life for their children and grandchildren. Activities include social events for grandparents and grandchildren and advocacy efforts to increase support for autism causes. Networking together, grandparents are a vital resource for autism ...and each other.

Check with your state for local support groups.

QUICK FACTS
Autism is defined behaviorally, as a syndrome of abnormalities involving language, social reciprocity and hyperfocus or reduced behavioral flexibility. It is clearly heterogeneous, and it can be accompanied by unusual talents as well as impairments, but its underlying biological and genetic basis is unknown. - Martha R. Herbert, MD, PhD


"When a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the impact is felt beyond the nuclear family. Grandparents, too, cope with grief, search for answers, and try to define their role in this new situation."
(Interactive Autism Network)



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