A 64-year-old American grandmother of two autistic grandchildren from a small Massachusetts village has started a Facebook support group for grandparents around the world whose grandchildren are on the autism spectrum. From her own experiences, she aims to raise more awareness about the condition as well as help the senior citizens in her situation become more engaged grandparents.
Carol Vincent, a resident of Dracut, had little to no idea about what the autism diagnosis of her two grandsons, Isaac (9) and Cormac (5) entailed. That’s when she decided to learn everything that she could about autism. As she delved deeper, she came across more grandparents sailing the same boat as her and in 2018 she decided to start a Facebook support group.
In conversation with The Sun Carol said, “It takes a village to raise these kids.” She continued, “It’s a huge challenge. It’s just really nice to know you’re not alone in this struggle. I personally grow from hearing other people’s stories.” Even though both her grandchildren are on the autism spectrum, they are like chalk and cheese, and according to Carol, this is the biggest challenge that grandparents who are willing to help face.
Members of this little community unanimously agree that the best part about being a part of this group is knowing that you are not alone. John Bryan, a resident of Richmond, VA, told The Sun, “Carol is doing great work. It’s nice to see that others are having some of the same experiences.”
In the future, Carol wants to reach out to even more families. Apart from the Facebook support group, she also wants to write a book, specifically for grandparents wanting to help with their autistic grandchildren.