“I Have a Question About Death,” written by Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky, can be a useful toolfor parents and caregivers to explain death and grief to children with autism. This grief resource is a way for adults to help children with autism understand death and grief in an easy-to-understand book format.
The authors specialize in working with children with disabilities in hospice settings. They created a story using direct, concrete language. The book includes three components: the complete story, an abbreviated version with fewer words and more emphasis on visual cues for children, and a guide for parents.
The story is accompanied by simple stick figure drawings to represent each idea and to ask and answer typical questions a grieving child would ask upon experiencing the death of a loved one. This story is appropriate for sudden and expected death.
The guide for parents offers helpful tips on ways to prepare and soothe the child as they participate in rituals in the days after the loss. This book makes an excellent resource for professionals who may feel ill-equipped to support a grieving child with autism. The book can also be beneficial to read to any very young child due to the simplicity of the text and visual components.
Ohio’s Hospice offers grief counseling services to friends and family of all Ohio’s Hospice patients, as well as anyone in any of the areas in Ohio where we provide care. These services are free of charge, thanks to generous support from the communities Ohio’s Hospice serves. For more information about the services provided by Pathways of Hope, please contact your local Ohio’s Hospice office:
Community Care Hospice or Ohio’s Hospice of Fayette County
Ohio’s Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties
Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice
Hospice of Central Ohio
740.788.1400 – Newark
614.891.6000 – Columbus
740.454.0000 – Zanesville
740.681.1000 – Lancaster
Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton
Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare
419.496.0057 – Ashland
330.674.8448 – Millersburg
330.264.4899 – Wooster
Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care
937.644.1928 – Marysville
740.852.7755 – London
Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County
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