Grandparents: The Meaningful Difference in the Lives of Individuals with Autism:

By R. Larry Taylor, KATC Executive Director

Recently, I received an email from Katie Allen regarding the passing of her father, John Krueger (Jack).   She informed me that her son, Jake, an individual with autism, had shared a very special relationship with her father, and to celebrate that relationship, she would be making a gift in her father’s honor to theKentucky Autism Training Center (KATC).  While I was sorry to hear about her loss, I was reminded that frequently grandparents have that special relationship with their grandchild with special needs.

Oftentimes, grandparents find themselves torn, trying to make sure the time and support they give to each of their grandchildren is equal. Jack had four other grandchildren, and while I am sure he loved each and every one of them, he understood that what Jake needed from him was unique, and he provided the right amount of support that Jake needed. The principle that "equal is not always equitable" is particularly applicable in cases of grandchildren with autism, and grandparents seem to intuitively know and practice this principle.

Thank you, Jack Krueger, for the relationship you had with Jake and for helping us understand that, frequently, the support individuals with autism need comes from the natural support that exists within the family. Jake’s grandmother Becky has been equally important in shaping Jake into the fine young man he is becoming and she will continue to show the love and support that makes the positive difference.

This Summer 2016 KATC Newsletter is dedicated to you and the difference your love and support made for Jacob’s life.