This article is a great summary of some of the biggest problems military families who live with autism face. Moving from post to post as frequently as we do, especially moving away from those blessed situations where your child is getting every service they need from top-notch providers, is so detrimental to that child’s development. Continuity of care is broken. Another state, school system and fight over a new IEP. Not to mention the stress that change causes to the family dynamic as a whole in this process with moving to a new, unknown area, new boss, new job, new chain of command.
Very, very stressful in a system that needs help desperately for the tens of thousands of autistic children in the military.
This article from the Huffington Post nails it. I have included the first couple paragraphs, but would encourage you to link over and read the rest of this brief, informative article.
Also, I would like to add that it is great to see an autism warrior advocate like Karen Driscoll working for Autism Speaks now to advocate with Autism Speaks for military families everywhere. I can’t think of anyone better for that position and who can better leverage the resources of Autism Speaks for the benefit of the military community.
“This is the best place for you to live. There is an amazing center here that works with autistic kids.”
Encouraging words. No one could have known that these words were the last thing I wanted to hear.
It was 2004 and I was living in Sacramento. My 3-year-old son had just been diagnosed with autism. The MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis was hailed as one of the world’s premiere autism research institutes. Everyone I met conveyed the same sentiment — the MIND Institute could single-handedly heal my son.
Something else was going on in 2004; a war. We had not expected to move that year but the needs of the military changed those plans. Just as my son was diagnosed, we received orders to a military base located in an isolated and economically depressed area of Southeast California. My husband would deploy to Iraq a few months after our move. The MIND Institute would do nothing for us…. click here to get the rest of the article