Having a grandchild on the autism spectrum

Brenda: Interview 14

Female
Age at interview: 56

Brief outline: Brenda's grandson, aged 6, was recently diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.

Background: Brenda has two daughters, two stepsons and four grandchildren. She lives with her partner and is a Student Services Team Leader. Ethnicity/nationality: White British.

Audio & video

Brenda has a very close relationship with her four grandchildren, aged 14, 7, 6 and four weeks old. The oldest granddaughter has lived with her since January and the other two older grandchildren stay with her regularly. Brenda “loves them all dearly” and if she doesn’t get to see them, speaks to them on the phone almost every other day.
 
Her 6 year old grandson was recently diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and she describes having a very loving relationship with him. She says he has a very logical mind, is very interested in science and has an excellent memory. He is a “very loving child and a happy little soul”. Brenda has found particular ways of managing his behaviour because he can become upset or frustrated at times and lose his temper. Her job involves working with students with Asperger syndrome and she thinks this has helped her with her grandson. It has also given her hope that her grandson will be able to go to college eventually and lead an independent life.
 
Brenda feels proud of the way her daughter is bringing up her grandson, particularly as she is on her own and his dad lives abroad now. Brenda feels sad when she thinks about the difficulties her grandson has making friends. She says that she just wants all her grandchildren to lead happy lives and she will try and support them to do that as much as she can.
 

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