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ERIC Number: ED542645
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 151
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
Life Journey through Autism: A Guide for Military Families
Alexander, Katie C.; Clemens, Erin M.; Gilbert, Marilyn; McBreen, Joseph
Organization for Autism Research (NJ1)
Autism presents parents and families with many challenges under normal circumstances. Autism in a military family magnifies many of those challenges and adds a few more that are unique to the demands of military life and service, further complicating an already complex neurobiological disorder. Military sources indicate that more than 13,000 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 its companion Web site 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. More specifically, the goals of this Guide are to provide: (1) An understanding of autism and related intervention and treatment; (2) Strategies for addressing the challenges of autism from the time of diagnosis through adulthood; (3) An overview of the Department of Defense (DoD) and service policies related to having a child with autism; (4) Information on autism treatment options and coverage within the military healthcare system; (5) Practical information and tools to guide your child's education; (6) Tips and advice relative to transitions such as permanent change of station (PCS) moves, new schools and more; and (7) Links to additional resources relative to autism and military families. Appended are: (1) If You Suspect Your Child Has Autism; (2) New to Autism?; (3) Become an Informed Consumer of Information; (4) Keeping It All Organized; (5) Finding Other (Non-Military) Providers; (6) Caring for Siblings of Children with Autism; (7) Establishing Support for Yourself; (8) Finding a Sitter for Your Child with Autism; (9) Where to Start on Base; (10) Communicating with Commanders; (11) Developing Objective and Measurable IEP Goals for Learners with ASD and Preparing for IEP Meetings; (12) Communicating with Teachers; (13) Daily/Weekly Journal for Teach Communication; and (14) Tips for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Moves. A glossary is included. (Contains 1 footnote and 23 resources.) [Contributors include Scott Campbell, Karen Driscoll, Christine Erdie-Lalena, Matthew Fitzgerald, Joshua Feder, Isabel Hodge, Becky Hunter, and James Phelan. This paper was co-created with the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center.
Organization for Autism Research. 2000 North 14th Street Suite 710, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 866-366-9710; Tel: 703-243-9710; Fax: 703-243-9751; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: American Legion Child Welfare Foundation
Authoring Institution: Organization for Autism Research