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ERIC Number: EJ1086586
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder through Grief and Loss
Hume, Kara; Regan, Tara; Megronigle, Laura; Rhinehalt, Charlene
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v48 n3 p128-136 Jan-Feb 2016
All student populations require support from school staff during times of grief and loss. The grief process is highly personalized and depends on multiple factors, including the type of bond and relationship with the person, the student's prior experience of loss, and the age and developmental stage of the student (Quinn-Lee, 2014). Grief manifests differently in students but may be expressed as disinterest in class or previously preferred activities, withdrawal, fear of separation from others, anger, guilt, risk-taking behavior, and anxiety (Schonfeld & Quackenbush, 2012). Schools can serve as an important source of support for students who may be demonstrating some of these responses and can provide a safe place for students to grieve (Holland, 2008). Students with developmental or intellectual disabilities experience grief, and many students with disabilities experience the same degree of emotions and behavior changes as those without identified disabilities (Gilrane-McGarry & Taggart, 2012). Historically, individuals with disabilities have not had access to appropriate supports during times of loss or grief, often being excluded from rituals related to loss (e.g., funerals), not being prepared for an inevitable loss, not being provided supports or time to process the emotions related to grief, and, in some cases, not being told of the loss if staff or caregivers deem that the individual has a limited understanding of it (Gilrane-McGarry Taggart, 2012). More recently, however, school staff have recognized the importance of supporting individuals with disabilities through the grief process and are providing supports with evidence of efficacy, such as supportive counseling (Lawhon, 2004), participation in rituals around the loss (Quinn-Lee, 2014), use of photos or other personal mementos (Gilrane- McGarry & Taggart, 2012), and education and preparation around death and dying (Blackman, 2008). This article focuses on grief and loss in students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Specific adaptations and additions to supports provided for students with and without disabilities are described.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R324C120006