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 photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

CDOS 2014 comes to a close

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Many people view the Labor Day weekend as the end of summer and a last chance to travel, hit Lake Mead, fire up the grill or indulge in their favorite outdoor ...
 
 

Lomie G. Heard Elementary School faculty looking forward to new school year

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Dominga Romero (left), special programs teacher assistant, and Terri Gravnitz (right), early childhood special education teacher, prepare their classroom for the start of the new school year at Lomie G. Heard Elementary School on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 21. The new school year...
 
 

Revisiting, examining four elements of leadership

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Whenever I see a new revision of the Professional Development Guide, I find myself reflecting on an experience I had meeting an awards board almost 20 years ago. I was a young staff sergeant and my flight chief was a panel member. He came up with a question from the 1993...
 

 

Deeds, not words make ‘quiet professionals’

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — As I was preparing for my assumption of command of the 60th Aerial Port Squadron, I was learning as much as I could about the squadron. One thing I immediately looked at was our squadron patch, because I wanted to see the emblem that represents the squadron to the rest of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Joint U.S. forces train together during integrated Green Flag exercise

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis to the runway during Green Flag-West 14-10 at Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 21. Green ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay

Get your caffeine at Coolbeans café

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay The Coolbeans Café, a coffee shop serving Starbucks is now open in Hangar 1003 to serve the Airmen of Creech Air Force Base. Airmen interested in getting out of their work cent...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin