Grandparents key for autistic children

April 8, 2010 at 11:03 PM
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BALTIMORE, April 8 (UPI) -- About one-third of U.S. grandparents of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorders say they were first to raise concerns, a survey indicates.

The Interactive Autism Network, an online autism research project, collected information from more than 2,600 grandparents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The survey found about 11 percent reported living in the same household as their grandchild with Autism Spectrum Disorders and another 46 percent live within 24 miles.

"It became clear that grandparents -- a population largely overlooked by policymakers and researchers -- had valuable insights to share when they came to us asking how they could participate in the IAN Project," Dr. Paul Law, director of the IAN Project at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, says in a statement. "Grandparents often play a major part in their grandchild's life and experience their own stresses and triumphs in these families."

The survey also indicates that:

-- About 90 percent said their grandchild's situation brought them closer to their children.

-- Approximately 15 percent of grandparents had two or more grandchildren on the spectrum.

-- 71 percent said they played some role in treatment decisions and more than 15 percent were providing transportation at least once a week.

More information is at:

No survey details were provided.

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