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To All the Grandparents of Children With Autism

I’m blessed in my life; I have a strong support system with my family. If it wasn’t for my parents and my sister, I don’t know how I’d have managed half of what I needed to do for my son Emilio. They were (and still are) always there for me and for my kids.

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But I also think of my friends whose children never had a chance to meet or get to know their grandparents. Grandma and grandpa received their calling too soon. I have you in my heart as I write these words.  I’d like to think that somehow, they’re watching from the heavens above guiding you all on your journeys.

And so, I’d like to pay a tribute to all the grandparents of children with autism.

Thank you for being the rock that kept us grounded when our world was turned upside down.

Thank you for not only understanding your grandchild’s diagnosis but for understanding our pain as well.

Thank you for adapting your home before anyone even asked you to.

Thank you for the times we found unexpected cooked meals, a clean house and the laundry done; we are grateful.

Thank you for being there to pick them up at school after a meltdown because we couldn’t leave work.

Thank you for coming with us to therapy for the moral support and so we didn’t feel alone.

Thank you for keeping them overnight so we could sleep in; the respite was much needed.

Thank you for your encouraging words and your endless supply of unconditional love to all of us.

Thank you for making more than one meal because you wanted to make sure they ate something.

Thank you for buying identical items to keep at your home so we didn’t have to carry them around.

Thank you for taking the time to understand the triggers that can cause a meltdown.

Thank you for the countless times you held us while we wept out of frustration and helplessness.

Thank you for not judging us when we lost it.

Thank you for educating others about autism because we know it affects you too.

Thank you for always staying strong and never showing your fear or concern in front of us.

We couldn’t have done this without you.

Your strength and unwavering support is what got us through this.

We shine a spotlight on you because you all have played a significant role in the lives of your grandchildren.

Please never forget how precious you are to them and to us.

The month of April is all about raising autism acceptance and understanding, but for every family in the autism community, we know we do this every single day of our lives.

Thanks for stopping by.

This post originally appeared on Speaking Autism.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated since publication to meet our editorial guidelines.