Thank you so much, U.S. News , for exposing the lack of care for our children with autism in the military ["Military Parents Battle the System to Help Their Autistic Children,"usnews.com]! Karen Driscoll has been fighting a great battle for all families in the military with autism. Deployments are stressing out the military families, and we don't need the added burden of paying out of pocket for needed services. The divorce rate is 80 percent for families with autism. The divorce rate for military officers has increased because of deployments. We need TRICARE's help during these critical times. Soldiers need to focus on the mission at hand, and they can't do this unless they feel their families are taken care of. I disagree with the TRICARE spokesperson: "There isn't a known treatment for autism." This is a false statement and shows TRICARE does not want to do the right thing for military families. This is an uphill battle for the military families, and many thanks to Karen for all her hard work!
Comment by Ashley Brown of KS
No family should "make do"! If we can obtain federal legislative intervention, support, and policy change, not only will this help the military child with autism, but it would send a strong message to all insurance companies across the nation to offer appropriate medical treatment for this vulnerable population. So in essence, what will help the military children with autism will help all children impacted by autism. If one does not like how insurance companies are denying children medical services, I would highly recommend to become involved at a state legislative level to encourage positive change. Everyone ultimately has the choice to act or be a bystander. Karen Driscoll and many others have taken it upon themselves to make a difference.
Comment by Naomi Love of NC
I have a child on the autism spectrum, and we are currently going through the process of all of this (my husband has served in the military for 16 years). I have to say that I strongly believe the reason children in the military are being diagnosed more is because we actually have medical insurance, so we take our kids to the doctors on a regular basis without fear of being financially ruined. I understand the dilemma of moving, but as of right now I have had no problems with getting TRICARE to pay for our daughter's services. TRICARE actually approved occupational therapy for our daughter long before she had an autism spectrum diagnosis. If you were to meet our daughter at a store, you would never know that something is wrong, so the defense that your child has to be really bad to get services is not true. I truly believe that TRICARE is one of the best insurances out there. Yes, they do need some work, but some things are out of their hands. There just are not enough providers for autism therapies to go around.
Comment by Kristen of GA