To top

Online shop

Support for the bereaved 2014 edition

Support for the bereaved and the dying

A guide for managers and staff in services for adults on the autism spectrum

Author: Helen Green Allison


Format: A5 Paperback
Availability: In stock
Product number
Support for the bereaved and the dying - A guide for managers and staff in services for adults on the autism spectrum
Helen Green Allison
Published by
National Autistic Society

A fully revised and updated edition of Helen Green Allison's book.

Bereavement and dying are difficult for everyone but especially for those with autism and Asperger syndrome. This is a much needed book for anyone who works with autistic adults, as well parents, family and friends. Helen approaches the subject with sensitivity, looking carefully at all the issues which need to be addressed, including grieving, different religious attitudes and making a Will. Helen is a founder member of the National Autistic Society and mother of Joe, an adult who has autism.

Also available as a Kindle-compatible e-book from Amazon.

Please note that the e-book sold on this site retails in US dollars. The price shown in sterling may vary slightly according to the exchange rate.

Print format
A5 paperback
Number of pages
First publication
Last revisited
ISBN / supplier product code
Dispatch partner
Primary distribution partner
Typical delivery
7 working days
Subject Religion and worship Sensory world Environment Communication Caring Behaviour
Edited reviews

As the title suggests, this book is very much aimed at staff and carers of adults with autism. As a parent it forces you to confront issues you would rather not. Perhaps more pertinently, it highlights the pitfalls in not confronting them.

Much insight into the autistic condition is shown throughout, with poignant quotes illustrating the complexity of the autistic person's comprehension. Indeed death can be seen as a unique opportunity to give rise to any of the primary difficulties associated with autism: phobias, fears, obsession, lack of understanding, resistance to change etc. Thankfully this book offers ideas to address most of these. Therapeutic inputs are discussed for differing abilities and potential pitfalls highlighted.

Inappropriate reactions or even callous indifference are considered, alongside delayed responses and reactions to deaths of famous people and animals. Experiences of loss such as moving house and marital break-up are also discussed.

The role of the keyworker is emphasised in supporting the bereaved client throughout the process, a difficult role as the client's needs may not always correspond with the duty rota. Strategies for dealing with this are offered, such as whole staff training and crucial support for the keyworker.

The book also discusses varied religious and cultural responses and the desirability of involving the client in arrangements. Practical financial advice and sources of help are offered throughout, with numerous contacts. The focus throughout is on residential care but with the increase in people with autism living in the community, more attention is needed on this section.

This book reads as a model of good practice for staff working in residential care and should form the basis for procedural manuals in all such establishments. The approach is practical with numerous helpful strategies and sources of help.

Rob Eveleigh
Parent and carer


Helen Green Allisons book is the first to provide a comprehensive guide for managers and service staff suggesting ways in which to provide informed and sensitive support for service users with an autistic spectrum disorder who suffer a bereavement. Advice on palliative care for the dying is included. Parents and others responsible for the care of adults with autistic disorders will find that the information given is useful, clear and accessible.

Adults with autism vary considerably in their reactions to bereavement. Examples given by the author show that they range from what appears to be denial of any loss to almost obsessive concern with loss. The bereaved may respond with aggressive and/or self-destructive behaviours, acute anxiety or depression. The staff designated responsible need to be able to interpret these reactions in order to provide emotional support and appropriate management of the grieving process. The author suggests guidelines but stresses that the approach to support should be as unique as the individual to whom it is offered.

Attention is drawn to the importance of constructive liaison between staff and the family of the bereaved or the dying and others in the broader community, such as health care officers and members of the religious community to which the client belongs. Practical advice is offered on important measures to be taken following bereavement or death. References relating to the relevant literature and community resources are provided.

In an ageing population, this book is a valuable resource for all concerned with assisting those with an autistic spectrum disorder to overcome the fears and the grief associated with death and bereavement.

Elizabeth Auger
Teacher unit for children with communication difficulties (retired)

Available as an [eBook]
About Epub and PDF e-books

NAS electronic books (or e-books) are mostly available in Epub format. Some of our books have instead been produced as PDFs, where this is better suited to the content. Please check the format information in the description for the book.

Epubs and PDFs can be read using computers, tablets, smart phones and some e-readers. If you would like to test whether your device can read these formats, you may like to try some of our free resources before making a purchase.

If your e-book contains enhanced information, such as a film or animation clip, please click on the link in the text to access it.

If, after downloading this e-book, you have trouble accessing and/or viewing it, please email

Autism Helpline Number: 0808 800 4104
Last updated: 23/07/2019 10:25:24