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Calls to Action

Grandparents Can Make A Difference!

Stories from Grandparents

"I may not know the medical or psychological terms or explanations for Riley's mystery, but I know deep inside that he is an amazing young boy who loves me, and I love him. After all, he is my grandson."

- Craig Brady, the father of Autism Speaks Walk Coordinator Tricia Nelson, on life as a grandfather to her son Riley. Click here to read other testimonials from grandparents of children with autism.

Resources of the Month

The Boy Who Saved My Life: Walking Into the Light with My Autistic Grandson
by Earle Martin
In the heartwarming pages of The Boy Who Saved My Life, Earle Martin tells how Charlie, his grandson with autism, rescued his soul. He explains where he was in his personal life when Charlie appeared, and how Charlie breathed life into him. As he relates anecdotes from their life together, you will begin to develop a sense of the profound power of the simple moments they have shared.

Letters to Sam: A Grandfather's Lessons on Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life
by Daniel Gottlieb
A collection of letters from radio host, newspaper columnist, and psychologist Dr. Dan Gottlieb to his grandson Sam, who has autism. Gottlieb is a quadriplegic, and through these letters, he shares wise words of wisdom and important life lessons with his grandson.

Grandparenting A Child with Special Needs
by Charlotte E. Thompson, MD
This book provides guidance on how to give grandchildren with special needs the love and care they deserve and provide their parents with the additional support that they often need. Topics covered include the medical, emotional, and practical aspects of the grandparenting role as well as how to access resources -- and how to have fun and quality time with a grandchild with a disability.

GKSN: Grandparents of Kids with Special Needs 
If you have a grandchild with special needs, no one will understand your joys and concerns better than another grandparent. On our simple website, you’ll have a chance to meet other grandparents through our Yahoogroup or Facebook groups, share ideas for supporting your kids and grandkids, and even post pictures of you and your grandkids!

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Grandparents Autism Survey

Grandparents Often ID Autistic Traits
Ground-breaking survey reveals the vital role older relatives play in the lives of autistic grandchildren. Grandparents are often the first to notice symptoms of autism in their grandchildren, and they play a significant part in providing both practical and financial assistance after a child is diagnosed with the disorder.

A new study by the Interactive Autism Network, which surveyed 2,600 people whose grandchildren had been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The online survey, sponsored by Autism Speaks, is believed to be the first-ever analysis of the role that grandparents play in dealing with the nation's skyrocketing number of autistic children.
  Click here to read an entry in the Autism Speaks Blog regarding this study, written by Cheryl Cohen, the Online Community Director of IAN Project at Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Click here to hear AARP's family expert, Amy Goyer, talk with NPR's Alyne Ellis about specific ways that grandparents can help out with their grandchild with autism.

Spotlight on the Grandparent Autism Network

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.

Tips for Grandparents

Click here to read Jennifer Krumins' tips for Introducing Your Grandchild to New Activities.

We would like to hear from you! Share your story about your experience as a grandparent of a child with autism. E-mail us at