This Memorial Day, we pay tribute to fallen soldiers and also autism military families. We met many Moms at Autism One whose spouses are in the military. Imagine the stress of deployment and/or moving frequently while caring for a child with autism? They are Super Warrior Moms (and Dads).
If you are a military autism parent, please share your story in our comments.
While my husband is no longer in the Air Force, we still have an Autistic son that was born nearly 13 months AFTER he got out. So I can relate to those who have Autistic children and are still involved in the military. Especially if the spouse in active duty went to the Gulf. Seems someone needs to look into the relationship between those who were deployed to the Gulf and the rising rate of autism. It may surprise the "officals" to learn that their may be a connection.
Posted by: Michelle Heath | May 28, 2013 at 04:01 PM
We're a Navy family. The two comments above covered everything eloquently. We're in this together, military families!
Posted by: Jessica Eastman | May 28, 2013 at 11:04 AM
We're a very proud Army family. We are also a family fighting autism. My husband, currently deployed, has been away from us for about half of the last seven years. Here at home, our three little Army brats and I are preparing for yet another move. We homeschool. We follow a biomed protocol. We drive all over town for therapy appointments. We fight with our insurance company. We are involved in the politics of autism and autism in the military. We find time to volunteer. We stay connected with our Army family. And we do it all as a team. Because even though our soldier is usually far away, he is always with us. We certainly don't think we have it "harder" than other autism families simply because we are a military family and we face other, unique challenges. Quite the contrary. In fact, we have yet another support system. We have another close-knit, fiercely proud family. Our autism journey is much like our military journey. It sometimes (often) sucks. It sometimes makes us feel sorry for ourselves. It can be intensely frustrating and insanely difficult. But in the end, both journeys have made us realize our strength, our dedication, our patience, and our ability to face and conquer any challenge with grace and humor.
Posted by: Celinda Colavita | May 27, 2013 at 06:53 PM
We're a military family! We've lived in 3 states and 4 houses since our son was born in 2007, so that's been a challenge. It's a complicated situation with the military lifestyle - yes, we have decent insurance coverage, but we also have to find new docs, therapists etc every time we move, which can vary from 1-3 years and every time you move you lose roughly 3-4 months of therapies whilst you jump through hoops. The military doesn't provide soft landings, nor does it generally provide childcare help, even for dual military parents, because the majority of child care facilities can't deal with ASD children. Then we have the 'wonder' of military doctors. Some can be real gems, but the majority are utterly useless in their understanding of autism and can be a huge barrier to care. Many, like us, use the higher cost option of medical care outside of the military healthcare system.
Posted by: Sarah | May 27, 2013 at 06:08 PM