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Yale J Biol Med. 2015 Mar 4;88(1):73-9. eCollection 2015 Mar.

Toward innovative, cost-effective, and systemic solutions to improve outcomes and well-being of military families affected by autism spectrum disorder.

Author information

1
Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia ; Division of Autism & Related Disabilities, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia ; Emory Center for Translational Social Neuroscience, Atlanta, Georgia.
2
Autism Institute, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida ; Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
3
Autism Institute, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida ; School of Communication Science and Disorders, College of Communication and Information, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
4
Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia ; Division of Autism & Related Disabilities, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
5
Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia.
6
Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia ; National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
7
Division of Autism & Related Disabilities, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia ; Department of Communication, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.
8
Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia ; Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.
9
Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ; Center for Autism Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
10
96th Medical Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
11
IMS Government Solutions, Fairfax, Virginia.
12
81st Medical Operations Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi.

Abstract

The burdens faced by military families who have a child with autism are unique. The usual challenges of securing diagnostic, treatment, and educational services are compounded by life circumstances that include the anxieties of war, frequent relocation and separation, and a demand structure that emphasizes mission readiness and service. Recently established military autism-specific health care benefits set the stage for community-viable and cost-effective solutions that can achieve better outcomes for children and greater well-being for families. Here we argue for implementation of evidence-based solutions focused on reducing age of diagnosis and improving access to early intervention, as well as establishment of a tiered menu of services, individualized to the child and family, that fit with the military ethos and system of health care. Absence of this new model of care could compromise the utility and sustainability of the autism-specific benefit.

KEYWORDS:

autism; autism spectrum disorder; early diagnosis; early intervention; health care system; implementation science; military

PMID:
25745376
PMCID:
PMC4345541
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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