Autism & Grief Project

Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) is honored to lead this 5-year grant project in partnership with the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation 


The goal of the Autism & Grief Project is to foster a healthier experience of grief and loss for adult with autism by helping family, friends, clergy, and other grief professionals better support them in their grief.

The outcome of the project will be a website, autismandgrief.org, that serves as a toolkit of grief and loss resources and information about autism, grief, and why it is so important to validate, honor, and respect grieving autistic adults and provide clear, gentle guidance on how to do so. In addition to content for caregivers of adults with autism, the website will contain a variety of materials on death, grief, and mourning for autistic adults, as well as a continuing education program for professionas, including clergy. 

Content will promote support for people with all subtypes of autism, taking care to include the 40% who are nonverbal or minimally verbal. Special conditions will be addressed, such as grief and virtual funerals in the age of COVID-19.

Project Advisory Board
  • William Gaventa, MDiv, National Collaborative on Faith and Disability
  • Deborah Gonzalez, MSW, Pathways Center for Grief and Loss
  • Jill Harrington-LaMorie, DSW, LSW, The Chicago School for Professional Psychology and Rutgers University School of Social Work
  • Trace Haythorn, PhD, MDiv, Association of Clinical Pastoral Education
  • Mei Mei Liu, Author
  • Ricki Robinson, MD, MPH, Descanso Medical Center for Development and Learning
  • Denise Rollins, PhD, Whole Heart Grief & Life Resource Center
  • Paula Shelley, PhD, Artist and Professor
  • David Stevenson, MDiv, CT, Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care
  • Serena Wieder, PhD, Profectum Foundation
  • Beth Zwick, Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation
HFA Project Consultants
  • Meggie Beaudoin Moore, MDiv, The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Kenneth Doka, PhD, MDiv, HFA Senior Bereavement Consultant
  • Rebecca Morse, PhD, Divine Mercy University
Interested in promoting the autism and grief website in your community?
HFA projects www.autismandgrief.org will launch in early fall of 2021. Email us at info@hospicefoundation.org for more information or if you'd like to be notified when the site is launched.
Read the Autism Bereavement Project Press Release