The Atlantic

Dear Therapist: My Granddaughter Has Autism and Her Cousins Exclude Her

I feel a need to help them understand she's wired differently. Should I intervene?
Source: Bianca Bagnarelli

Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com.

Dear Therapist,

I have 10 grandchildren who live in the same city as me—all are under the age of 10, and they are together a lot. One of our granddaughters, a 7-year-old I’ll call Poppy, has a pretty high-functioning form of autism. She’s adorable and outgoing, with a quirky, affectionate, fun personality.

Everyone adores her, but some of the cousins around her age or a little older have started to seem uncomfortable around her. Poppy often likes engaging in imaginative play and sometimes talks in non sequiturs. For example, the other day she pulled three of her

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