Meet Shane, Age 4

  • Dad is a retired Marine
  • Dad was wounded severely in Iraq and medically retired because of his injuries
  • Shane was diagnosed with autism at age 2
  • Because Dad is retired, Shane’s medically prescribed ABA therapy is not covered by TRICARE
  • ATMF provided Shane with a $5,000 grant for ABA therapy

Meet Camille and Caragh, Ages 4&5

  • Camille and Caragh’s Dad is in the Navy
  • Caragh is diagnosed with PDD-NOS
  • Camille is diagnosed with moderate to severe autism
  • Camille is an “escape artist” – she often runs away,does not return and she does not understand the dangers of streets and cars
  • ATMF awarded this family a grant to have a fence installed around their home to keep the children safe

Meet Dillian, Age 12

  • Dillian was diagnosed with autism in 2010
  • Dillian’s Dad is an active duty Marine
  • Dad just recently returned from a 7 month deployment to Afghanistan
  • ACT Today! for Military Families gave a grant to help with tuition for a special needs school specializing in autism as Dillian was regressing in the public education setting

Meet Christopher, Age 10

  • Christopher’s Dad is a Senior Master Sergeant with the US Air Force
  • Christopher was diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2008
  • Due to Christopher’s physical and social challenges, going to summer camp was close to impossible
  • ACT Today! for Military Families gave a grant to allow Christopher to attend a camp for children and adults with disabilities
  • Because of the ATMF grant, Christopher got to enjoy canoeing, tubing, swimming, rope climbing, and playing on the water slide
  • This was his first ever overnight camping trip and he enjoyed it very much

Meet Frank, age 19

  • Frank’s Dad is a veteran Marine
  • At 9 months old, Frank had a “life-altering” reaction to his DTP vaccine
  • Frank was diagnosed with autism at age 2
  • Frank lives with his Mom, Dad, 2 sisters and 1 brother
  • Consistent employment for Frank’s Dad has been challenging due to the economy
  • The family’s insurance does not cover costs associated with Frank’s special dietary needs
  • ATMF approved a grant for bio-medical treatment and dietary supplements

Meet James, Age 6

  • James was diagnosed with autism at age 4
  • Mom is a veteran Marine and Dad is an active duty Marine
  • James’ Dad recently returned from deployment to Afghanistan
  • James has shown positive response to early and intensive intervention
  • He has progressed from a non-verbal child to mainstream kindergarten
  • ATMF approved a grant for James to attend a Social Skills Program

Meet J, Age 5

  • J’s Dad is an active duty Marine
  • J’s Dad is deployed to Afghanistan for 12 months
  • J was diagnosed with autism at 22 months
  • J doesn’t have many opportunities in the summer to socialize with peers, especially since his Dad (his best friend) is deployed
  • ATMF awarded J a grant to attend a summer camp for one week
  • Because of the ATMF grant, J’s Dad is comforted to know that J can experience fun outdoor adventures, Mom had some much needed week of respite to focus on J’s sister, and J had “the experience of a lifetime”

Meet Hank, Age 5

  • Hank lives with his Mom, Dad, and 3 older sisters
  • Dad is a military veteran
  • The family’s annual household income is less than $32,000
  • At age 5, Hank is non-verbal and has never spoken one word
  • ATMF granted an iPad to Hank so that he can learn to communicate with his family

Meet Greyson, Age 5

  • Greyson’s Dad is a retired Marine
  • Greyson is a triplet…and all 3 children are on the Autism Spectrum
  • Upon retirement, Greyson’s medically prescribed ABA therapy was terminated. The family is unable to afford the out of pocket costs associated with ABA for all 3 children
  • ATMF approved a grant for 3 months of ABA therapy for Greyson, in addition to an in-home ABA Therapy software program for the family

Meet John & Virginia, Ages 4 and 6

  • John and Virginia’s Dad is in the Air Force
  • Both children are diagnosed with autism and participate in therapy 6 days a week
  • Their parents provide both children with therapies, special diets, and bio-medical treatment – the things they can’t provide for John and Virginia are friends and social skills training
  • ATMF provided a grant for both children to attend a special needs summer camp.

Meet Julia, Age 7

  • Julia’s Dad is a disabled retired Army soldier
  • Julia was diagnosed with autism at age 2
  • She was completely non-verbal and was not potty-trained until she was 5
  • Julia’s Dad has lost his job twice in the last two years
  • Julia’s family has paid up to $60,000 per year since 2005 on her therapies and services
  • Because of this intensive intervention, Julia went from having aggressive behaviors 5-10 times per hour to only a few times a week
  • ATMF awarded Julia a grant to continue receiving ABA Therapy

Meet Scarlet, Age 4

  • Scarlet’s Dad is in the Air Force
  • Scarlet was diagnosed with autism at age 2
  • This family has drained their entire savings in one year to pay for DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) doctor visits, lab tests, private ABA therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy
  • ATMF has awarded this family a grant to continue seeing a homeopathic doctor

Meet Noah and Sophia, Ages 4 & 5

  • Sophia and Noah’s Dad served in the military from 1991–1994
  • Sophia was born at 26 weeks weighing 1 pound and 10 ounces, was in NICU for 3 months, and was diagnosed with autism at age 3
  • Noah was diagnosed with severe autism at age 2
  • Their Dad lost his job in 2008, has applied to over 100 jobs, and is still unemployed
  • The family’s income is currently Noah and Sophia’s SSI checks and their Dad’s VA benefits check
  • The family’s home is the on the corner of a busy intersection. This worries Mom and Dad because Sophia likes to run into the street
  • ATMF awarded this family a grant to have a fence installed around their home to help keep the children safe

Meet Daniel, Age 9

  • Daniel’s Dad is an active duty Marine
  • Daniel is medically fragile with over 13 specialists on his case
  • Daniel’s Dad has deployed multiple times over the last 7 years
  • Family experiences significant out of pocket costs associated with therapies, respite, driving, durable equipment, and more
  • Daniel is non-verbal and has many physical challenges
  • Daniel loves to play outside and ride his modified Tryke. The modified Tryke benefits him physically and socially, but he is getting too big for it
  • ATMF awarded a grant for the family to purchase a larger Tryke for Daniel so he can ride outside with his siblings and neighbors

Meet Christian, age 8

  • Christian’s Dad is a retired Marine
  • Since retiring, Christian’s Dad has recently found part-time employment
  • Christian lives with his Mom, Dad, and younger brother
  • Christian’s ABA Therapy is not covered since Christian’s Dad is retired
  • Christian’s ABA Therapy hours have decreased significantly since parents are unable to afford the out of pocket costs associated with care
  • ATMF funded a $5,000 grant to Christian to continue ABA therapy.

Meet Hunter and Aiden, Ages 4 & 14

  • Hunter and Aiden’s Dad is an active duty Marine
  • Hunter and Aiden’s Mom is diagnosed with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis
  • Hunter is diagnosed with autism and Aiden is diagnosed with Asperger’s
  • Hunter was non-verbal until he was 3 years old and has severe sensory deficits
  • Medical prescriptions and cost of gasoline to all the various therapies take up much of the family’s paycheck
  • ATMF funded a concentration SPECT scan for Aidan, and sensory equipment for Hunter
  • Hunter bangs his head repeated when he is frustrated. Since receiving the sensory equipment, Hunter has not had a single “headbanging” episode

Meet Kate

  • Diagnosed at age 2 with severe autism
  • Dad severely wounded on 3rd tour to Iraq
  • Mom was driving from hospital to legal proceedings with school district to fight for BASIC services for Kate
  • Family bills total over $250,000 to seek help and intervention for Kate
  • Kate’s response to treatment is amazing!
  • Kate is now fully included in a typical kindergarten class and is indistinguishable from her peers!

Meet Jacob

  • Diagnosed with severe autism July 2005
  • Dad is a veteran of 4 combat deployments
  • Intensive ABA therapy refused by Hawaii Dept of Education
  • Jake thrives with intensive ABA services
  • Parents have paid $359,000 out of pocket for ABA therapy
  • Jake lost his autism diagnosis on Father’s Day, 2008
  • Recovery is possible!

Meet AJ

  • Diagnosed at age 2
  • Mom and Dad both active duty USAF Physicians
  • LOST TRICARE funding when ECHO program began in 2005
  • Family has paid tens of thousands $ out of pocket (no assistance from TRICARE)
  • Dad is a veteran of 3 combat deployments
  • Both Mom and Dad are giving serious consideration to more lucrative job offers to fund AJ’s treatment costs and keep his services stable
  • Failing to meet the treatment needs of our military children with autism is a retention issue

Meet Broden

  • Diagnosed at age 2 with severe autism
  • Dad is a veteran of 2 combat deployments
  • Broden was prescribed 40 hours of ABA therapy by developmental team
  • TRICARE covers less than ½ of prescribed therapy
  • Family funds balance of prescribed treatment (average $2,500 per month)

Meet Gabriella

  • Diagnosed with severe autism
  • Prescribed 40 hours a week of 1:1 ABA
  • School is unable to competently deliver ABA program
  • Experts conclude school ABA program has not been implemented properly and is confusing Gabby
  • Parents takes Gabby out of school and personally fund intensive home ABA program out of pocket costs $65,000
  • Dad deploys to Iraq twice and to Korea for 1 year.
  • Mom reports dealing with severely autistic child is very challenging. TRICARE’s failure to cover medically prescribed treatment adds frustration and stress to an already strained family.

Meet Hunter

  • Diagnosed at 19 mos with moderate to severe autism
  • Prescribed 30 hours/week of intense 1:1 ABA therapy
  • TRICARE authorization takes over 5 months
  • TRICARE covers 1/3 of prescribed therapy
  • Family receives supplemental coverage of ABA through CA Regional Center, but after a couple months all Regional Center Services are terminated by the County
  • Out of pocket costs for treatment exceed $30,000 and debt is overwhelming family

Meet Jacob

  • Diagnosed at age 2 in 2008 (after 5 month delay waiting for an appointment)
  • Prescribed minimum of 25 hours/week of intense 1:1 ABA therapy
  • TRICARE authorization takes over 5 months
  • TRICARE covers less than ½ of prescribed therapy
  • Family receives supplemental coverage of ABA through CA Regional Center
  • After a couple months, family receives notice that all CA Regional Center Services are terminated
  • Family is working with attorney to appeal Regional Center termination of services
  • Dad is currently deployed on his 4th combat tour

Meet Julia

  • Diagnosed with autism 2006 – Age 2
  • Dad is a disabled Army retiree
  • Prescribed 15 hours / week 1:1 ABA by Developmental Pediatrician
  • TRICARE denies child ABA services because father is a retiree
  • Parent s pay for ABA therapy out of pocket
  • Julia makes amazing progress with ABA, but costs are overwhelming the family
  • Lack of treatment may consign Julia to a life time of disability

Meet JW & Joshua

  • John William diagnosed in 1996
  • Josh diagnosed in 1997
  • Both boys moderate to severe autism
  • Parents learn about ABA therapy through own research in 1999
  • 1999 – 2002 – Hire attorney for ongoing battles with public school system
  • 2002 – Reach settlement with school system, provide partial funding (<50%) for home based ABA program
  • On wait list for Medicaid assistance for several years, finally receive Medicaid assistance in 2006
  • Total out of pocket expenses 1999-2007 $363,012

Meet Nathan & Isaac

  • Nathan diagnosed at age 3 in 2004
  • Isaac diagnosed in 2006
  • No assistance from TRICARE and family cannot afford out of pocket costs for prescribed services. End result…no treatment received.
  • Nathan was hospitalized for harmful and self injurious behaviors in 2006
  • Dad was sent home emergency leave to aid his son
  • Not providing for effective autism treatment services will cause physical and mental injury to the child

Meet Patrick

  • Father is Army Special Forces
  • Patrick diagnosed at age 3 overseas
  • Family is reassigned stateside in order to receive treatment
  • Patrick’s response to ABA therapy is AMAZING
  • ABA therapy costs exceed TRICARE limits
  • Accumulating debt impacts Soldier’s security clearance
  • Patrick regresses in NC public schools. Environment detrimental to his physical, mental, and emotional health.
  • Mom quits her full time job to coordinate and implement home school and ABA program.

Meet Paul

  • Diagnosed at age 3
  • 4 different duty stations by the age of 6
  • ABA received for short period of time in California – AMAZING progress made
  • Family moves to Virginia and school does not provide ABA and will not fund home program
  • Paul is on a wait list for state Medicaid assistance (expected wait is 10 years)
  • Family funds ABA therapy costs out of pocket……debt is overwhelming