In Arizona, there are virtually no established support groups or services for children on the autism spectrum and their families when experiencing the loss of a loved one. This is due to many factors, including the complexity of autism, an inconsistent belief that children with autism are capable of grieving, and a general lack of research conducted on the crossover of children with autism and grief. This proposal is based on the social work strengths perspective, in which I argue that children living with autism are capable of grieving and need support to do so. The way families and practitioners approach grief among children with autism is with individual counseling based on a therapist's discretion, grief books and guides, and virtual communities. I attempt to compile evidence-based and practical activities, interviews with parents and professionals, and my experience in order to recommend effective support for children with autism experiencing loss. My hope is that caregivers will use this material in order to understand and help a neglected population find the language and means to safely grieve.
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