Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Children of Autism in the Military: An American Fail

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That's right. I said FAIL. 

One would think that the military in this country would be leading the charge to serve children with autism because their parents do so much for our country. Like sacrificing lives and such? Their families move around all the time without complaint, they lose a parent to deployment over and over again, and are giving of themselves in countless ways us civilian people would say 'oh hell no' to.

I have a girlfriend who spent her summer so excited about her husband being stationed state-side, only for the fall surprise that the military changed their minds. Not only did the family have move to another country, they lost all her furniture, too. She spent months living out of a suitcase, pregnant, alone with two small kids. I think she's one of the bravest, most adventurous women I know.

Could you imagine doing that with a child on the spectrum? One word: Hell.

This morning, Diary of a Mom's blog made a heart felt plea. Contrary to what we civies think, the military is redefining the word 'under-served' for the autism community. It's inspired me to post this, before I've had even one cup of coffee this morning (so if it seems like there are more typos and word omissions than usual, you know why) and meant putting aside the other brilliant post I was working on for you. I am utterly outraged at this under-service.

Did you know only one in eighty-eight children  receive valuable interventions for autism if their parents are in the military? Again, that's 1 child and 1 family getting the needed help, support and therapies out of 88. It's... it's... UNACCEPTABLE. These children didn't sign up for substandard care and they didn't sign up for the Armed Services. The fact they are in military families without choice comes with a certain expectation: That our government will support them because their parents are supporting us.

We have all failed. It isn't just the military, it's us. We've allowed this to happen by not speaking up. The good news is that it's not to late to fix it. With ONE CLICK, you can make a difference by asking our leaders to support the Caring for Military Kids with Autism Act- H.R. 2288. You can let your congress-person know you want this travesty corrected.

This click is brought to you by the tireless work of a mom and Army wife: Rachel Kenyon. Her dedication brings us the ability to speak out, speak up and help our fellow autism parents who also happen to be actively serving our country. It takes no time at all. I did it in between sips of coffee. Rachel doesn't believe the cavalry is coming for her cause, but I say it is now on it's way. Get on your horses, moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grandparents and all! Let's be known as a formidable force in Washington, D.C. (I know my congressman must see my emails and think 'it's this chick again... just give her what she wants')

When you are done emailing your congress people, consider another holiday gift for our brave military families by donating time or money HERE. Your gift will keep military parents from drowning in therapy bills and provide for their immediate needs. Let's face it, bills are slow to pass and our politicians are confused at the moment. Our personal donations make a difference here and now while we wait for the rest to follow. 

One more thing: When you are done all that good stuff. Share those links on your favorite social media sites. Spread the word, change a life.

3 comments:

stimcity.org said...

So as I sit here feverishly trying to keep up with Tweets and trying to thank everyone I can who is helping our military families do this - you have me in sobbing tears of gratitude.

Thank you. You have no idea.
*so grateful*

With love,
Rachel K. (Mrs. Sergeant Major)

Niksmom said...

I found you through Jess and Rachel via Twitter. You rock. Thanks.

Carrie said...

Rachel,thank you for all your hard work helping those that aren't always on our radar. I know campaigning for change within the DoD is hard work, especially with in our current political climate.

I have family and friends in the military. My father in law was a career Marine (whom I will share your cause with). I have a deep respect for what service men, women and their families sacrifice. I'm glad I could help-- it's my duty and an honor to give something back to you. ((HUGS))

Niksmom-- Thanks for reading and for the comment. (No doubt you rock, too!) I like to think what I write does some good for someone beyond me, even when I write it half asleep.

I'm so proud to be a part of the autism community.