Support for Military Families

For military families, raising a child with autism can often present additional challenges and advocacy needs. Below is a list of resources we have put together for families:

Life Journey Through Autism: A Guide for Military Families

by Organization for Autism Research (OAR) and Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC)

Military sources indicate that more than 20,000 military dependents, the majority of them children, have some form of autism. Their families face all the emotions and challenges that accompany having a child diagnosed with autism, compounded by the realities of military service: war, extended family separation, frequent moves, varying access to specialized healthcare, and other stressors that complicate and often work against effective treatment for children with autism. These families need help navigating these uncharted and difficult waters.

This Guide and Operation Autism, its companion website, are designed for these families. The purpose of these resources is to give each family the tools and access to information that it needs on its unique life journey through autism.

*NOTE: OAR offers this guide free of charge to parents in the military and DoD employees (one copy per family, please). To take advantage of this offer, fill out the form on the Operation Autism website. Be sure to specify your interest in A Guide for Military Families and include your affiliation and rank, as well as the address to which you would like the book mailed.

Military-Specific Resources

Exceptional Family Member Program

DoD Office of Special Needs Educational Directory for Children with Special Needs

Operation Autism: A Resource Guide for Military Families

Military Families and Autism Advocacy

United States Marine Corps Exceptional Family Members: How to Improve Access to Health Care, Special Education and Long-Term Supports and Services for Family Members with Disabilities
National Council on Disability, November 2011

Autism Research Institute - Information for Military Families

Autism Speaks in early 2012 invited members of the military and their spouses to tell their stories on video to help federal policymakers, the autism community and the public to better understand the unique challenges they face raising children with autism. Several videos on this page were aired during the January 31, 2012 Congressional briefing for military families.

Do you know of any resources that might be helpful to military families affected by autism? We'd love to share them! Email us at