Grief is a complicated mixture of emotions that comes in waves and can be challenging for people to recognize\u00a0and deal with. This is true for everyone, and can be especially true for children with autism.\u00a0 We spoke to three therapists at Brooke\u2019s Place \u2014\u00a0an Indianapolis organization that\u00a0provides support groups, therapy services and community education\u00a0\u2014\u00a0to find\u00a0suggestions on how to help children deal with this difficult, and important, response to loss.\u00a0Erica O\u2019Neil, LCSW,\u00a0is a grief therapist; Carol Braden, LMHC, is\u00a0clinical director of programs and\u00a0services; and Marisa Willard, LMHC,\u00a0is a grief therapist.\u00a0 How do parents help their children with autism who are grieving? O\u2019Neil:\u00a0Remember\u00a0to\u00a0listen, observe and hold space. Affirm the grieving individual, and try to provide safety and security through routines and concrete information. Social stories\u00a0may be helpful in explaining a death\u00a0and\u00a0the\u00a0rituals that may occur following a death, such as\u00a0a\u00a0funeral.\u00a0 Braden:\u00a0Don\u2019t make assumptions about what your child with autism is thinking and feeling, or not thinking and feeling, about an important person who has died. Continue to bring up the name\u00a0of the person and the relationship of the person who died to your child.\u00a0Communicate\u00a0that it is\u00a0OK\u00a0to be sad, happy, afraid, angry\u00a0and confused. Offer ways your child can actively express memories. Create something in memory\u00a0of the child's loved one. Take a grief tour of your home and share memories with your child that they had with their loved one who died. Be very specific\u00a0with your child with autism when speaking about death,\u00a0which will\u00a0help them better understand. Willard:\u00a0It\u2019s\u00a0important to recognize that each individual grieves in their own way, and there are many different ways kids express grief. It\u2019s also important not to compare one child's grief with another's\u00a0or assume one is doing it the \u201cright\u201d\u00a0way and another the \u201cwrong\u201d\u00a0way.\u00a0It is important for the parent to meet their child where they are, and in their most comfortable way to communicate. Using artwork or writing could be a helpful way for\u00a0a\u00a0child to express themselves in other ways besides direct verbal communication.\u00a0 At what point should a parent consider a counselor? O\u2019Neil:\u00a0A parent might consider counseling for their child if they notice significant changes impacting the child's daily functioning.\u00a0 Braden:\u00a0Even\u00a0if there are no adverse impacts on daily functioning, your child with autism might still benefit from having a special time with a grief therapist to express and work through understanding their grief even more, learn ways of remembering and having more healthy coping strategies. When considering the grieving process, O\u2019Neil says:\u00a0\u201cIt is so important to remember that grief is unique to each individual. Although we will all experience death and loss at some point in our lives, the experience of grief is different for everyone. In addition, grief is one's natural reaction to the death of a loved one, and we all have a natural capacity to heal.\u201d\u00a0 The loss of a loved one can be devastating and create a deep well of grief for\u00a0those who are left to mourn. But with the right resources, emotional support and the passing of time, healing is possible.