Finding Your Own Way to Grieve A Creative Activity Workbook for Kids and Teens on the Autism Spectrum by Karla Helbert

Finding Your Own Way to Grieve A Creative Activity Workbook for Kids and Teens on the Autism Spectrum

Written by Karla Helbert
Illustrated by


Finding Your Own Way to Grieve A Creative Activity Workbook for Kids and Teens on the Autism Spectrum by Karla Helbert

Children and teenagers with autism can struggle to cope with the loss of a loved one, and the complicated and painful emotions of bereavement. This book explains death in concrete terms that the child with autism will understand, explores feelings that the child may encounter as a part of bereavement, and offers creative and expressive activities that facilitate healing. With illustrations throughout, this interactive book begins with a simple story about what happens when people die. Each chapter then expands on the issues that have been raised in the story and offers a variety of coping skills exercises including writing, art and craft, cooking, movement, relaxation, and remembrance activities. Encouraging children with autism to express their loss through discussion, personal reflection, and creative activity, the book is ideal for children and teens to work through by themselves, or with the support of a family member or professional.


Finding Your Own Way to Grieve lives up to its name, choosing not to prescribe one correct bereavement process for its readers but allowing a multitude of activities and behaviors that will ultimately lead to marked personal growth. If your family has lost someone, and your child (roughly through age 14) has not yet had to reckon with loss, this workbook will make a substantial difference in his or her young life. -- The Autism Channel blog This creative activity workbook for kids and teens on the spectrum is intended to help them express their loss as they work through it by themselves or with the support of a family member or professional... With illustrations throughout, her book offers a variety of coping skills and exercises, including writing, art and craft, cooking, movement, relaxation and remembrance activities. -- Autism eye At some stage in their lives, children and adolescents who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder will experience grief but there is remarkably little literature on this emotion for parents, professionals and those with ASD. Now we have a practical, informative and sensitive workbook that will encourage the constructive expression of grief. I know this book will be greatly valued by families and those who support them through the grief process. -- Tony Attwood, Clinical Psychologist, Minds & Hearts Clinic, Brisbane, Australia, and author of The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome Karla Helbert's Finding Your Own Way to Grieve fills a gaping need. Her sensitive book will be a godsend to parents, teachers, and therapists supporting a child on the autism spectrum, offering both valuable information and useful exercises that will help that child cope with grief and loss. -- Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, Professor, The College of New Rochelle, and Senior Consultant, The Hospice Foundation of America Many people on the autism spectrum have a difficult time when an important person in their life dies. This book will help children on the spectrum handle grieving. They can learn that grieving and death are normal parts of life. -- Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures Helbert's book is saturated with information and activities for helping children understand death and the process of grieving. It is an invaluable resource whether you work with children on the autism spectrum or not. Packed full of creative and expressive projects, I will be using this book over and over in my practice. Thank you, Karla, for creating this much needed resource! -- Bonnie Thomas, LCSW, author of Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling and Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities Karla Helbert's book is a gem! Her style of writing is simple yet expressive, and will enable individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to finally have a resource to lead them through their grief. As professionals, we need this book to help enrich our support of all individuals grieving the death of a loved one. She gives us the language to explain death through a beautiful story, shares with us journal prompts and checklists to help individuals understand their feelings, and provides unique and meaningful art activities for our clients to remember their loved one. This resource will be a true gift to families, individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and clinicians everywhere! -- Allyson England Drake, Founder and Executive Director, Full Circle Grief Center Very few books dare to enter or approach human suffering and grief the way that Ms Helbert's does. With open-hearted compassion and tenderness, she provides much needed guidance to help children with autism who are enduring grief and loss. The book is infused with wisdom and explores grief through discussion topics, exercises, and practical aid which will surely last many children a lifetime. I would recommend it highly for adults and children, professionals and families, and across cultures. -- Joanne Cacciatore, PhD, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University and Founder, MISS Foundation All of us have to come to grips with loss in our lives. Finally there is a book that will help those with ASD understand one of the greatest mysteries of living. This book is tender, compassionate, and an incredible resource for anyone who cares about and for persons with ASD. It should be on everyone's bookshelf. -- Carol M. Schall, PhD, Assistant Professor, Director of Training and Technical Assistance and the Autism Center of Excellence, and Director of Virginia Autism Resource Center, Virginia Commonwealth University Children with autism will experience loss, whether through the death of a beloved pet, a relative or a friend. This book addresses issues unique to children or adolescents with autism experiencing loss and is full of practical guidance, resources, and activities for parents or practitioners supporting a child or adolescent with Autism Spectrum Disorder through the grief process. I highly recommend it! -- Bradford Hulcher, parent of a son with ASD and Executive Director of the Autism Society, Central VA

About the Author

Karla Helbert is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and has been working as a therapist since 2000. She operates a private psychotherapy practice with a focus on loss, grief and bereavement and specializes in therapy for people with autism spectrum disorders. Prior to opening her private practice, Karla worked for 13 years for a private non-profit organisation serving children, adolescents and adults with autism. She also facilitates bereavement support groups for local hospices and for the MISS Foundation, an international non-profit helping families grieving the death of a child. As a bereaved mother and a trained therapist, she has a deep personal, as well as clinical, understanding of the difficult issues facing those grieving the deaths of loved ones.

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Book Info


192 pages


Karla Helbert
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Publication date

15th October 2012



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