Taking care of autistic child

Published December 27, 2010

By Kamal Shaarawy

Q I am blessed with an autistic child and he is an adult now.  We are getting old. If we are not capable to take care of him what should we do?

A, Obviously, you have been going through some trying times for quite a while. But, alhamdulillah, Allah (SWT) has given you good faith and the strength to bear and make the best of your circumstances.

Islamically, it is the obligation of family members to take care of him, whether it would be his siblings or some other relative. If there is no family member who is willing or able to take on this responsibility, then he can be turned over to the state and the state would provide for him.  According to his needs and degree of independence, he would be placed in an appropriate residential facility.

In that case, it would be extremely important for some family member to at least act as an advocate for him, to ensure that he is being taken care of and treated properly. Of course, no matter how well run the facility would be, it is not the same as living with family members. That is why it is highly recommended to arrange for him to live with family who would provide him with the best possible caring environment.

(Answer by Kamal Shaarawy)

Kamal ShaarawyAuthor Kamal Shaarawy is an author and counselor. His most recent book on marriage is available at Kamal Shaarawy studied a dual major of Electrical Engineering and Islamic Studies at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, and went on to obtain a master’s degree in clinical psychology in the U.S. Kamal has completed all doctoral courses in clinical psychology and more than 2000 practicum hours. Providing private counseling for Muslim individuals, couples, and families for the past twenty-five years, he currently offers counseling through phone or Skype at

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