An AARP Bulletin piece by Amy Goyer goes in-depth about a new survey revealing the significant role that grandparents have been playing in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The Interactive Autism Network conducts studies with parents of children with ASD, but report that "Eighty percent of studies on autism either fail or are delayed for lack of families to partner with (the scientists) in the research."
So when The Network heard that folks have been taking a large role in the lives of their grandchildren with ASDs, they decided to do a survey just on grandparents:
With more than 2,600 grandparent-respondents, mostly between the ages of 55 and 74, the survey revealed that grandparents play crucial roles in the lives of their grandchildren with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In fact, 72 percent say they play a part in making treatment decisions for their grandchildren.
Debbie Melching of Mansfield, Ohio, took the survey. "[With] anything that's related to autism, I try to participate, because I want to help raise awareness and get more research to help," said Melching. Her grandson, Daylin, was diagnosed with autism at age 3.
Make sure to read the whole piece.