If you are a long-time reader of my blog — thanks for still being here even though I haven’t written much this past year— you know that I shy away from being political or from telling someone else what I think they should do. However, Autism —hell, disability of any kind— knows no politics, shows no favoritism to any particular socioeconomic, ethnic or religious group.
This issue is so important that I have to speak up.
Did you know?
- There are 22,000 children of military families affected by autism.
- Less than 10 percent of those children are getting the services they need.
There’s a bill sitting in committee, okay, let’s be honest here —DYING OF NEGLECT in committee, which could change that. A bill which could level the playing field for our military families and their children who are dealing with the day-to-day realities of autism AND war. It’s the Caring for Military Kids with Autism Act (CMKAA) – H.R. 2288. It was originally assigned to the House Committee on Armed Services, and then was referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel on July 19. And there it has sat, ignored.
This bill would:
- Streamline the acronym-filled process for military families to access services for their autistic children through TRICARE, the military’s healthcare system.
- It would also remove the extremely stringent cap on services that can be received.
My friend Rachel, a military wife, autism mama and fierce advocate, has put together a slew of posts (go here and search for CMKA and even a website dedicated to CMKAA where you can read the text of the bill (and click on a link to contact your Congressperson).
Here’s the deal —as long as this bill sits, ignored, it will die. Since Congress is on recess now, your Representative will, most likely, not see or act upon your heartfelt plea for support. ASK ANYWAY. (Just click here and fill in a few spaces…voila! Message on its way!)
More urgently, we need your help in getting the attention of the White House. If we can garner 25,000 signatures on this official White House petition by February first, the President —as in President Obama — will have to give his attention to this matter.
Thousands of brave men and women have sacrificed so very, very much for your right to sit in your office or your home reading these words, uncensored and at your leisure. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice —their lives. Please, even if your life is not personally touched by autism or your political leanings lead you condemn the wars in which we are engaged, don’t make their sacrifices meaningless and don’t make the 22,000-plus children with autism the victims of politics. Or apathy.
Please go here NOW to sign the petition. (You will need to sign up for a White House account, which takes less than a minute, to sign the petition. Don’t let that be the obstacle which keeps 22,000 children from receiving appropriate care!) Then share this with your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors.
Because, in the end, we all benefit from having our military families receive appropriate care for their loved ones with autism.