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John James, founder of The Grief Recovery Institute

John W. James

Founder of The Grief Recovery Institute®
Co-Author of The Grief Recovery
Handbook & When Children Grieve


Ask The Grief Experts

Explaining death to young children and to a child with special needs (Published 11-8-11)

Q:

How can I explain the death of my parent to a a child with special needs - autism?

The child is a seven year-old diagnosed as 'mild' and presents with ADD on a mild scale. He is able to communicate relatively well. When he describes 'grandma's house' he immediately states that she and his uncle Ed live there. As far as his cognitive ablility is concerened, he can easily play video games and knows not to touch the stove.

He was very close to his grandparent. She would care for him whenever I had to work late or had to leave town on business. He could quickly pick her out in a crowded room and freely accepted and gave affection to his grandmother.


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