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'A new low': TRICARE cuts services for children with autism, concerning military families
The Fayetteville Observer
In 2013, when her father returned from a third deployment, Mia Martin was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old.
Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that impairs normal brain development and ultimately cognitive function and social interaction.
Mia was enrolled in public school for a while.
Her days started at about 5 a.m. to catch a bus.
She’d sit in a classroom until about 1 p.m. then head off to therapy for four hours, ending her day at about 6 p.m.
James Martin and his daughter Mia are one of the military families impacted by the Defense Health Agency's decision to eliminate certain applied behavioral analysis services from classroom settings.
The 12-hour days were part of Mia’s routine for four years.
Mia’s father, Fort Bragg combat veteran James Martin, knew it took a toll on Mia.
The public classroom setting was too rigid.
“Even in a classroom of 15 kids with a special education teacher and an assistant, my daughter is quite the handful,” Martin said.
Mia couldn’t adapt. Read more here.