Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Autism Speaks: ABA Plan for Military Families Is a Dud

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Autism Speaks: ABA Plan for Military Families Is a Dud

Article excerpt

Autism Speaks recently expressed disappointment with the terms of a one-year ABA pilot program for military families developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) through TRICARE and called on Pentagon leadership to take action. In a report sent to Congress on May 7, the DoD said it was limiting the pilot ABA autism program to non-active service members only as a companion to the existing TRICARE ECHO program for active duty members. There was no indication when the program will start.

Late last year, Congress ordered the DoD to create the pilot program for "all TRICARE beneficiaries," but the DoD instead has limited the program to non-active duty members covered under TRICARE Basic. No insight was offered on dollar caps for treatment, coverage for prescribed levels of care, when the program will become available, or how military families or ABA providers will be advised of the services.

"Military families need access to the care they have earned and deserve, yet TRICARE continues to restrict medically recommended treatment," said Karen Driscoll, a Marine Corps spouse and Autism Speaks' associate director for federal government affairs and military relations. "TRICARE was created to provide a premier set of services to our military service members and their families because of their unique job requirements and the sacrifices made in service to our country. …

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