[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Special Needs Services for Military Hit in New Survey
May 16, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC (May 16, 2013) — In its fourth annual survey of military families, Blue Star Families found widespread dissatisfaction among special needs parents in the military with medical, educational and housing services, including access to ABA. Of the 5,125 military families who responded, 19 percent said they were receiving special needs services through the military; of those, 36 percent cited autism as their child’s disability.
A national, non-profit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserves, Blue Star Families conducted the online survey in November 2012 and obtained 5,125 responses from service members stationed domestically and abroad. The survey found that 31 percent of the special needs parents enrolled in the military’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) felt their participation had harmed their military careers.
“Navigating the military healthcare system to obtain services can be challenging for caregivers for Exceptional Family Members (EFM),” the report said. “The National Council on Disability noted that it is even harder for young parents, those with more than one exceptional family member, those who themselves are exceptional family members, and those with a deployed service member.”
Fewer than half of the families responding to the survey said they felt supported by their chain of command, the EFMP at their base or the surrounding civilian population. In addition, shortcomings were found with TRICARE, the Department of Defense health insurance program for active duty and retired personnel.
“Families may also struggle when trying to obtain recommended specialty services that are not covered by TRICARE, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism,” the report found. ABA has been restricted to active duty members by TRICARE and a one-year pilot program ordered by Congress last year for all service members has been delayed indefinitely due to budget issues. In addition, TRICARE has been sued in a federal class action suit for restricting access to ABA.
The survey also addressed the financial impact of paying out-of-pocket for services not covered under TRICARE by quoting two Navy spouses.
“He probably would’ve stayed in (active duty) if he felt that we would not have to spend so much money out of pocket obtaining speech, occupational, and physical therapy for our son,” said one. The other Navy spouse said, “Moving duty stations requires military families to re-enroll in EFMP program services. This means that children may be waiting for months, often times a year, to access services.”
Access to state Medicaid waivers also arose in the Blue Star report, which noted that every time a military family redeploys to another state they drop to the bottom of the new state’s waiver list.
“Sixty-four percent of respondents reported diﬃculty accessing community/state-based supports, such as Medicaid waiver beneﬁts,” the report found. “In addition, 55 percent of respondents with an EFM also reported diﬃculty ﬁnding adequate housing when relocating.”
Special needs parents overall said they were satisfied with their child’s educational services, until they are required to enroll into another school district as a result of redeployment. Two thirds of the respondents said educational accommodations were “challenging” following relocation.
“New school districts will honor the previous individualized education program (IEP), but the district has authority to decide how the goals and objectives will be met and it may not be through the same exact program or services,” the report said.
Blue Star Families in the report urges better supports for special needs families when they relocate, including the ability to maintain Medicaid waiver services when they move to another state. Autism Speaks is supporting efforts to make TRICARE coverage of ABA for all military members permanent and at the levels prescribed by medical professionals.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
More With Autism Votes
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.