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 (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 ...
WASHINGTON, DC (October 5, 2013) -- Autism Speaks has joined the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Association, Easter Seals and other major advocacy groups in their appeal...
WASHINGTON, DC (August 28, 2013) -- In response to longstanding concerns raised by military families subject to frequent relocation, local school districts have been directed...
WASHINGTON, DC (July 11, 2013) -- In a strongly worded letter to the Department of Defense, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA) demanded to know the reasoning behind ...
WASHINGTON, DC (July 5, 2013) -- Autism Speaks has developed a Frequently Asked Questions guide for military families to better understand the changes in coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA)...
WASHINGTON, DC (June 27, 2013) -- Military families will face new restrictions and cutbacks obtaining applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for their children with autism under new policies made...

Military Helpful Links

     TRICARE Summary of ABA Coverage