Grief and Trauma

Dealing with a trauma or grief for a child, teen or adult with autism may be especially confusing. Individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities experience grief when they lose a loved one just like everyone
else.

Some people may think people with intellectual disabilities don’t
understand or can’t comprehend death, or just because they may not show typical signs of grief, they are not grieving.

Now professionals know that the effects of bereavement may be prolonged
with people with intellectual disabilities.  They may experience more anxiety, depression, irritability, and other signs of distress, or they may express their emotions through behaviors such as irritability, sleep.

We have compiled a list of resources for individuals with developmental disabilities and their family members.

“Coping After Disaster, Trauma” by the American Psychiatric Association
www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/coping-after-disaster-trauma

“Helping People With Intellectual Disabilities Cope With Loss” by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center – https://vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/assets/files/tipsheets/copinglosstips.pdf

“How To Talk To Kids About Tragedies In The Media” by the Child Development Institute – https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/how-to-be-a-parent/communication/talk-to-kids-media-violence/#.W5CgP-hKg2w

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