Grandparents Raising Children With Autism

Heavenly Father, you are and have always been faithful even when we can’t see what lies ahead. When the unexpected happens, and it will, can you guide us accordingly, through the twists and turns? Please help us to keep our eyes on you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Can you recall a time when the Lord asked you to do something difficult? How did you respond? Were you obedient or did you drag your feet kicking and screaming?

Have you ever asked God why he chose you to do the hard thing?

I spent many months grieving the loss of my plans for my life. I grieved all the sudden changes. But what I failed to accept during that time was the Lord’s plans for my life. The Lord had something else for me to do, and while it didn’t involve teaching women the Bible, it did involve teaching and being taught.

The problem was – I knew very little about the subject before me, but I had a feeling I was going to become an expert quickly. 

A lot has happened over the last three years, and we have learned a lot about autism. Yes, our little guy was diagnosed with severe autism. The CDC says the rate of autism as of 2023 is 1 in 36 children. And I might note that autism is not restricted to the United States. Many countries around the world also experience autism.

When we learned Jaxon had autism, my goal was to share as much information with others as possible. Some folks helped us when we first found out, so we like to pay it forward. If it helps others, great. We have been helped immensely since this journey started. People have been so kind and supportive. We continue to covet prayers as this journey is far from over.

The Lord has been faithful all these years. I don’t see him stopping now. I seek him daily for wisdom and will continue to do so.
I know I am not the only one starting over. I call it ‘Parenting 2.0.’

There are thousands of people my age starting over. Many of us have raised our children already, only to find ourselves going around the block again, a little wiser, much older, and physically weaker. However, one of the biggest differences now is how many are raising children on the spectrum and we’re having to learn a whole new way to parent these children because many of the methods we successfully used on our children do not work on these children. It’s as if we have never parented before.

Children with autism need our prayers. Caretakers whether parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster families, or anyone else caring for children with autism need our prayers. Teachers need our prayers.

Autism is not going away anytime soon, and these children and their families need all the love and support they can get. Being an autism parent, grandparent or caretaker can be very isolating.

Imagine for a moment thousands of children who are non-verbal and can’t speak. Four, five, ten, fifteen years and older cannot say anything, no words only sounds one can barely understand. Their families have never heard the words, “I love you,” from their lips. How will they do in school? Read? Write? Be successful adults?

Imagine for a moment you are over 55 years old and raising an autistic child who has aggressive issues. The child hits, bites, throws things, or destroys property when you say the word ‘no’ or something doesn’t go his way, and you feel weak, afraid, helpless and don’t know what to do.

Thousands of people are in those very situations today and it’s heartbreaking. The love they have for these children doesn’t change. Hence the need to cover these children and families in prayer.

And imagine the anguish these older caretakers feel knowing as the child ages, they do too.

I’ll be 62 when Jaxon turns 10. We will be standing eye to eye by then. How will I handle the kicking and screaming fits when he doesn’t want to eat his dinner when he is looking at me face to face? Will he still try and pull my hair or bite me? How will I get him out the door in the morning for school? Carrying him by then will be next to impossible.

What will happen to these children as their older caretakers die off? The worry of who will take the child in after they are gone crosses their minds frequently. You can’t help it. People say don’t worry, but you can’t help but think about it. I guess it would be different if I was in my thirties and managed to get him to adulthood before I died.

Whether you are one of those parents or caretakers now or know someone who is, let’s not forget the Lord sees our struggles and somewhere people are praying. I know He sees us, and we would do well to trust Him in all things even when we cannot see around the corner. The Lord will see us through. The Lord knows the love we have for these children.

Heavenly Father, oh how my heart aches for these children knowing many of them have no control over their bodies, their thoughts, or their actions. Oh Father, be with them and their families. Thank you for your provision, grace, and love. While our lives may not look like what we planned, your plans are much greater than anything we could come up with ourselves. You have given us so much and we thank you. Please be with all the boys and girls who find themselves in these situations and Lord, please strengthen those who have been called to care for them whether grandparents, caretakers, aunts, uncles, foster families or siblings. Please provide everything they need. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Blessings,

The Teaching Lady Logo

Jeanette Duby, The Teaching Lady just released her brand new book titled, ‘It’s Autism! Now What? Some Things You Should Know.’ You can grab a copy on Amazon. There are two versions, a black-and-white picture copy, and a color picture copy. Please share this resource with someone you love who may be caring for a child with autism.

NEW RELEASE – It’s Autism! Now What? Some Things You Should Know

Dopamine, Serotonin, Gaba and Autism 

Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence of a Tantrum 

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