Health & Safety

July 26, 2013

Pilot program enhances Autism care, treatment

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A congressionally mandated pilot program set to launch July 25 will enhance an existing Defense Department program that provides care and treatment for military children with autism, a senior DOD official said.

Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and director of the TRICARE Management Activity met with reporters yesterday to explain the new program.

An estimated 8,500 children of active-duty military families have a form of autism, Woodson said. He sought to dispel military parents’ concerns about rumors of a potential loss in benefits for their children with autism and autism spectrum disorder.

“We understand that there’s a lot of anxiety in the community of interest around autism about suspected changes that would adversely affect care,” he said. “Providing care to children who have autism spectrum disorder and making sure they get the full range of care they need is a priority to us.”

“All care will be continued,” Woodson added, noting that active-duty service members’ children’s autism care benefits in the applied behavior analysis administered through TRICARE would not change.

“Anyone who’s receiving care under the (Enhanced Access to Autism Services Demonstration) – there will be no change,” he said.

There’s also no change in benefits to anyone enrolled in the basic medical program that began July 2012, Woodson said. An expansion of services through the autism pilot program, he added, will also allow retirees and their families to receive ASD benefits.

Autism care and treatment is evolving, Woodson said.

“In the future, we’ll try to identify what the best practice is for the periodic assessments – who should get it and over what period of time,” he said, noting the pilot program is expected to yield “great insight” into evaluation protocols.

The pilot program was developed by crafting requirements through consulting with experts in the field and advocacy groups to “try to find validated tests and the best strategy for focusing on what would be the right care at the right time for children (with autism),” Woodson said.

Woodson said the pilot program’s overall focus is directed at families, and what is best for their child. Parents’ input will be sought to ensure their issues are represented as the program is shaped, he added.

There is “an expanding need and recognition” of military families with children who have autism,” Woodson said. Integral to increasing autism treatment capability, he said, is having a large network of providers that work with autistic children.

“We continually try to improve … (and) expand our network of providers,” he said. “I think we have one of the most robust networks available.”

Woodson said it is “paramount” for children with autism to obtain professional reassessments to ensure they get the right care, at the right time, with updated care plans.

“That’s what we’re all about,” he said. “Focusing on the child and what’s best and providing the families with access to these services.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Red Flag offers B-52 crews training that ‘can’t be beat’

U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 69th Bomb Squadon, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., taxis for take off during Red Flag 15-3 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., July 15. T...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

‘Thunder’ rolls at Fort Irwin

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Airmen assigned to the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., look on as an A-10 Thunderbolt II departs from the National Training Center at Fort I...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd

Hill activates their first F-35 fighter squadron

U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd Lt. Col. George R. Watkins addresses the audience and squadron members during the 34th Fighter Squadron activation ceremony July 17 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The 34th FS will be the fir...
 

 

Nellis celebrates successful Vacation Bible School

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Nellis Chapel has done it again with the 18th and best year of Vacation Bible School ever. This year’s theme of Science, provided by Gospel Light’s Son Sparks Labs, proved to be engaging and fun for all 192 children and volunteers. Discovering the light of God in a...
 
 

The unseen leader

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — Over the years, I’ve seen many leaders come and go. The ones I admired, I took note of the traits I wished I had, as well as the ones I already possessed. It took me a long time to realize some of my personal and professional weaknesses were...
 
 

Donald Rumsfeld visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz Former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld interacts with a service member during a book signing and meet-and-greet at the Base Exchange, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., July 16, 2015. Rumsfeld is the youngest and oldest individual ever to sit in the Defense Secretary position,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>