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Calls to Action

Military Families and Autism Advocacy

An estimated 23,000 military dependents, including children of active duty, reserve and guard families, are affected by autism. 

Military life is particularly difficult for children with autism and their families. Given the frequent duty station changes and social turmoil of military service, military children with an autism spectrum disorder often face additional challenges with which their civilian counterparts do not have to contend.

A specific feature of autism is difficulty with life, routine, or environmental changes of any kind. Individuals often need a set routine, stability, and continuity of services and relationships. Military life, by its nature, provides few of these needs.

Autism Speaks supports military families through our Family Services team and its ongoing Advocacy efforts to improve policies and programs supporting military connected families.  Questions can be directed to militaryfamilies@autismspeaks.org

News

WASHINGTON, DC (June 16, 2014) -- The Department of Defense has announced plans to consolidate its three different ABA programs under TRICARE with a new "Autism Care Demonstration" for all...
WASHINGTON, DC (May 22, 2014) -- The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a new Defense budget which includes a requirement that TRICARE dramatically improve access to applied...
WASHINGTON, DC (May 9, 2014) -- Bipartisan legislation that would require TRICARE to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) for all military children with developmental disabilities, including autism...
WASHINGTON, DC (May 7, 2014) -- U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) demanded answers yesterday from top military leaders on what is being done to improve access to behavioral therapy...
WASHINGTON, DC (April 22, 2014) -- In a report to Congress, TRICARE announced it will be creating a new Autism Care Demonstration starting July 25 that will consolidate...
WASHINGTON, DC (April 9, 2014) -- Military families raising children with autism and Down syndrome today called on Congress to overhaul insurance coverage provided under TRICARE for applied behavior...
WASHINGTON, DC (February 6, 2014) -- TRICARE, the military healthcare program, has eased onerous testing and assessment requirements for retiring service members to access applied behavior...
    (February 5, 2014) -- Caleb Lussier, a young man with autism, got a big surprise when his father, Staff Sergeant Richard Lussier, reunited with him during a JROTC meeting at Caleb...
WASHINGTON, DC (January 21, 2014) -- House and Senate budget negotiators have agreed to continue funding the Department of Defense Autism Research Program (DoDARP) at $6 million in the next...
WASHINGTON, DC (December 13, 2013) -- An 11th-hour agreement on a new Defense bill hammered out by the Senate and the House dropped dozens of proposed amendments, including a provision to ...

Military Helpful Links

Caring for Military Children with Developmental Disabilities Act of 2014

     TRICARE Summary of ABA Coverage