Supporting an autistic child with parent with cancer

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My husband has just received an initial diagnosis but we don't have any information regarding treatments etc. as yet.

Obviously this is distressing in itself but my particular query is resources to help support our teenage daughter who has autism/ADHD and poor mental health. We're not intending to tell her until we have had further tests and there's a treatment plan, which we've been advised could be 2-4 weeks. 

I've seen you mention Hope Support Services on another thread but wondered if you knew of a resource that was specific to neurodiverse children?



    I am so sorry to hear that your husband has received a cancer diagnosis.  These early days whilst you are waiting on results can be overwhelming for all of you, and we are here to support the whole family.

    I can understand that at this distressing time, telling your daughter, in a way, and at a time, that is best for her is so important.  You may find this link and the associated booklet helpful with hints, but, of course you know your daughter best, and how best to support her Macmillan talking to a teenager

       I would imagine that my initial thoughts are already in your mind, so apologies if I am suggesting avenues you have tried.  I am wondering if your daughter is under the care of a local service?  I ask as my research has brought up, at local level, autism services providing support, in conjunction with the NHS, and cancer healthcare professionals.   Perhaps, if there is a support group in your area your local Macmillan Information Centre may know.  You may search for your nearest centre via this link Macmillan Centre in your area

     I have looked through our approved list of resources, and whilst there are options for a patient that is autistic, and support for teenagers where a parent has cancer: I couldn’t find anything specifically for an autistic teenager where a parent has cancer:  I am so sorry about that.  If you haven’t already done so, you may like to post your query on our   Friends and Family Forum   and chat with other families who may be in a similar situation

    One way I can help   is to direct you towards other services that may support you with the resources you are looking for.  A good place to start is Cancer Research UK, the link below proves a wide range of options for a range of ages: perhaps giving them a call on 0300 123 1022, may bring you further information.  They also have their own chat forum where you may post your query for other patients and their families to answer      Cancer Research UK supporting children and young adults when a parent has cancer.

     One organisation that Macmillan signposts to, is the Fruitfly Collective   Their website mentions “Bringing new ways  to support children, adults and their families affected by cancer"   The Fruitfly Collective are involved in the Parenting with Cancer project, supporting through “creativity, education, research and communication” and I am hoping they may be a good option for your family to explore. 

    Another charity suggested by Macmillan and Cancer Research UK is Young Minds.  I wondered if they may be of interest to you, as supporting autism and mental health is mentioned within the website.

    I hope the suggestions above are helpful to you as a family.  Please feel you can come back to us here for further support, or, you are welcome to call us on 0808 808 0000 or live webchat with advisor on any day between 8am and 8pm.

    I wish you and your family all the very best.


    Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Advisor