Read the full article, Military Families Battle Autism by Tisha Thompson MyFoxDC.
..Major Andy Hilmes says his son Drew was diagnosed with autism six months before his second deployment in Iraq. To help Drew learn basic skills like speaking and interacting with other children, Major Hilmes put Drew in a special clinic near Ft. Hood, Texas that offers intensive treatment called Applied Behavioral Analysis, better known as ABA therapy. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends autistic kids get at least 25 hours a week of ABA therapy.
“Without those services, they’re not likely to develop the skills to reach their potential,” says Wilczynski.
But Drew’s mother, Nikki Hilmes, says that’s hard for military families because the military caps how much therapy it covers.
"The military now, with the funding that we get, we are able to provide between 10 and 14 hours," she says.
Military families get their medical benefits through a government-run program called TRICARE. TRICARE refused FOX 5’s request for an on-camera interview, but says its coverage is competitive with other commercial insurance providers.
Karen Driscoll says TRICARE isn’t telling the truth. She says she and her husband paid for their son’s treatment by emptying out their savings, mortgaging their house and finally borrowing money from their parents...