How to Raise a Grandparent as an Autistic Mom
A recent survey conducted by the National Guard revealed that some parents are reluctant to provide their children with a grandparent guardian to support them.
Many people have grandparent guardianships in place to help protect their own children from abuse or neglect.
But it’s unclear how many people have found that they can successfully use these protections to support their own grandchildren.
“The people that have been the most successful are people that were already there,” said Ashley Tisdale, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.
“They’ve been in foster care, they’ve been institutionalized, and they’ve had to work on their own, so it was a natural fit for them.”
Some people find it easier to adopt a grandchild from another country or even from another state than it is to find a grand parent to take care of a grand child.
But Tisdales parents have been more than happy to share their stories with the National Geographic team.
“When I first started doing this, I would have had to tell them I had two kids, I had a husband, and I was pregnant,” said Tisdeale.
“So the conversation would be, ‘Well, I can’t do this.
I have to find another parent.
How do I do this?'”
In addition to the National Guards job as a medical provider, Tisdales job also includes assisting other medical providers in caring for their grandchildren, like pediatricians.
Tisdalles first met her grandchild when he was four months old.
She said that her own grandmother, who has Down syndrome, was reluctant to share her story with the family, so Tisdole decided to get the story out to the public.
She says the grandchild’s story was so different from the stories of other children who had been adopted from foster care that she felt it would be hard to give a realistic picture of how grandparent care works in the grandparent system.
“If they’re in the situation of, you know, they have a guardian, that’s all they need to know, that they’re going to have the same opportunities as the other kids,” Tisdelles said.
“It’s really a different experience to see a child that’s being taken care of by a family and you know you’re not going to see that in foster home.”