Now Libya? – How Autism Affects Military Readiness…

You might think I’m a little off-topic on this one – but trust me –

you want to hear this.

Today, in response to Moammar Gadhafi’s violation of a United Nations mandated cease-fire, more than 110 Tomahawk missles were fired upon Libya.

More unrest in the Middle East.

Did you know that AUTISM is affecting the READINESS of our military forces here in the United States?

Read on…

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WHAT MAKES AUTISM A READINESS ISSUE?

  • More than 13,000 military dependents have Autism.
  • Only 10% of military dependent children with autism are receiving the appropriate treatment and therapies.
  • Parenting a child with autism creates a complex and stressful family dynamic. 
  • Many families require the expensive assistance of special education advocates and attorneys to ensure appropriate educational placement and programming for their child with autism. 
  • Families that incur significant debt to advocate for their child with autism and to provide necessary therapies TRICARE does not cover, put their soldier in jeopardy of losing security clearance.
  • Often, the military spouse cannot work outside of the home due to lack of affordable, qualified childcare.
  • In addition to the financial hardship, soldiers are challenged emotionally to meet the needs of their spouse, meet the demands of caring for a child with autism, meet the needs of other children within the family and still carry out their commitment and duty to serve.
  • Researching appropriate treatment, coordinating multiple therapy appointments, transportation, special dietary needs, toileting and hygiene and providing constant supervision for the child with autism is around-the-clock duty.
  • Families that cannot gain access to ECHO-related services, fail to receive respite care.
  • Caring for a child with autism can be physically and emotionally exhausting.  Failure to provide the assurance of family care is critical for mission readiness.

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If you think the current situation in Libya and elsewhere across the globe – TO INCLUDE RELIEF EFFORTS IN JAPAN – are not affected by autism… 

Sorry… You are mistaken.

Maybe it’s another great arguement for the military’s big Boss Man to Light the White House Blue on World Autism Awareness Day

Just sayin’.

 

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About Rachel Kenyon

Rachel Kenyon is an Aspie, Advocate and single mom of two beautiful babes - The Boy (11) and RM (8). The Boy is a Legomaniac and RM is a kick-ass diva with Autism and 4q Deletion Syndrome. View all posts by Rachel Kenyon

4 responses to “Now Libya? – How Autism Affects Military Readiness…

  • Niksmom

    Holy smokes, I had no idea and wouldn’t have ever made the connection. Thank you for this, Rachel.

  • William

    Try being in the middle of a “battle” in a Battalion Operations cell, soldiers under fire relying on your support, the Base your on being hit with mortar and small arms fire, AND dealing with the fact your daughter was just diagnosed with Autism. I thank the lord everyday that I was able to push the struggle at home into the back of mind while dealing with the dangers at hand. I was able to do this because my wife is AWESOME. It takes AWESOME family members that support their service members to make all that work. My situation was difficult but not as difficult as a soldier who is getting the pay of an E4 (just over minimum wage) newly married, under the age of 21 and dealing with newborns with disabilities. Libya….we’ll go if we are told to…but what does it REALLY do for us as a nation?

  • DragonslayerMama

    Wow. Rachel- you are an amazing mama and William, thank you for all you do for our country. I hope and pray you do not get sent back to any front lines and I hope that our military will all soon be home back in their loved ones arms.

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