Tag Archives: militaryfamilies

Audio Cast with Rose Straeter MA, RLC, IBCLC and Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski

WHO AAP Breastfeeding

by Robin Allen, MSPH, RDN, LDN

What a great webinar, April 26 with Rose Marie Straeter, MA, RLC, IBCLC Breastfeeding-Nature’s Best.

If you missed this webinar, you could still obtain CPEU by listening to the recording located on the Learn Event page https://learn.extension.org/events/2526.

Listen to this audio chat with Rose Marie Straeter, MA, RLC, IBCLC  and Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski to get insight into how to help your clients feel comfortable breastfeeding.

Rose Straeter audio cast with Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reaffirms its recommendation of breastfeeding exclusively for six months. After six months infant foods can be introduced with breastfeeding continuing for one year. Breastfeeding and human milk are the standards for infant feeding and nutrition.  According to the AAP, breastfeeding results in improved infant and maternal health outcomes.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) “Breastfeeding Report Card” highlights the progress of achieving the breastfeeding goals outlined in Healthy People 2010 and 2020.  The overall rate of breastfeeding according to National Immunization Survey data are 75%. However, this varies significantly by sociodemographic and cultural differences.  The breastfeeding rate of the Hispanic or Latino population was 80.65%, the non-Hispanic or African American population was 58.1%.  The rate of breastfeeding in low-income mothers receiving Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) was 67.5% but with higher income mothers the rate was 84.6%.  Mothers younger than 20 years were less likely to breastfeed than a mother over 30.

With all the benefits of breastfeeding, how do we as providers encourage mothers to breastfeed?


American Academy of Pediatrics, March 2012, Volume  129/Issue 3 Policy Statement Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/129/3/e827.full.pdf   accessed April 28, 2016


This post was written by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebookon Twitterand LinkedIn.

Credit Score Refresher

By Ayesha Haider, BA, MBA, AFC Candidate

Your credit score is often the first indicator that banks, potential employers and landlords and financial institutions turn to when assessing your financial health and deciding whether to do business with you. But what exactly makes up a credit score? Are certain items given more weight than others in determining a score? And how good or bad is your score compared to the rest of the Nation?

Let’s start with the basics:

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a number derived from your current and past financial behaviors which lenders and other organizations use to assess how much risk they will be taking on by extending you credit. There are numerous credit scores that are used by financial institutions, and each of these has a different formula for calculating your level of risk. The most well-known and widely used score is the Fair Isaac Corporation’s FICO score.

What makes up a credit score?

A credit score is determined by collecting and classifying individuals’ financial transactions. The FICO score is calculated based on payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), credit mix (10%) and new credit (10%). Keep in mind that your credit score is constantly changing with every financial decision you make – from taking out a new loan, to paying your bills every month – so it is important to know what will have an adverse or beneficial effect on your score.

What is not included in a credit score?

Your credit score will never be affected by your race, religion, national origin, sex or marital status. It will also not take into account where you live, your salary or employment history, age or the interest rates that you are currently being charged. Oftentimes, your credit score may suffer as a result of stolen identity, illness or other unforeseen life events. It is important to know that you reserve the right to have a personal statement included in your credit report that can be viewed by potential lenders and may assist in explaining a poor credit score.

How “good” is my score?

A good or bad credit score really depends on which score you are looking at and what financial transactions you will be using your credit score for. Most scores range from 301 to 850 with anything above 650 being considered a “good” score and anything below this number to be considered “bad”. Experian’s 2015 state of credit report shows that the average score for Americans last year was 669 (up three points from the 2014 average of 666).

Knowing how your credit score is calculated and what it is used for is the first step to working towards (or maintaining) a favorable credit score. To obtain your FICO score, visit the myFICO website or visit your base Personal Financial Counselor who may be able to obtain your score free of charge.

Credit Scores- What's New- (1)Join us next week on Tuesday, May 3 at 11 a.m. ET for Credit Scores: What’s New? with Dr. Barbara O’Neill and Rod Griffin from Experian. This 90-minute webinar will cover the fundamentals of credit reporting and credit scoring and what you must do to get the credit you want and need. This webinar is approved for 1.5 CEUs for AFCs through AFCPE and CPFCs through FinCert.

Financial Tips for a Stress-Free Relocation

By Ayesha Haider, BA, MBA, AFC Candidate

Relocation is a challenging time for even the most seasoned service members who have experienced numerous PCS moves. In addition to the emotional difficulties of leaving friends and familiar surroundings behind is the burden of starting from scratch in a foreign location. While finances may be the last thing on your mind during this hectic time, the following tips are sure to ensure a smoother, less stressful relocation for you and your family:

Photo by Chris Waits
Photo by Chris Waits
  1. Really know what your expenses are: On the surface, the expenses associated with relocation may seem fairly obvious but there are many other “hidden” costs of relocation that are often overlooked and may result in a stressful relocation experience. Basic examples include, fuel (if you are driving to your new location), furniture/appliance replacement (for damaged items not covered by insurance), and costs associated with buying/selling a house or car. Some less obvious examples include the costs of living “on the go” such as eating out more. Keep track of your expenses by creating a list of potential expenditures associated with the move. This can even be a brainstorming activity for the whole family and a great way to introduce your children to the basics of financial management.
  1. Have an emergency fund: It is important to have an emergency fund that covers 3-6 months of expenses regardless of if you are relocating or not. However, during relocation an emergency fund can provide you with an unprecedented level of financial security. Many of the costs associated with relocation are reimbursed but you are not likely to receive reimbursement for many weeks after they have been incurred. Knowing that you have a cushion to cover any short term financial needs associated with the move can give you the peace of mind to focus on other important matters such as finding accommodation or researching school districts.
  1. Update your bank and utility accounts: it is crucial that your banking institutions and credit card companies are aware of your move and have your new address as soon as possible. This prevents them from sending sensitive information to an older address that may be occupied by another tenant now. It also prevents credit card companies from freezing your account due to transactions you make while on the move. In addition to your financial accounts, remember to close any utility accounts under your name that you will no longer be using. To avoid penalty fees for early termination of contracts, refer to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
  1. Create a new budget for your new life: A new living situation is most likely going to have an effect on your financial situation as well. You may be paying more or less rent, have a higher or lower BAH, and may have less disposable income as a result of one spouse having to resign from their job as a result of the move. Once you’re settled into your new home, be sure to create a new budget to reflect these changes and to see how they affect your saving and investment goals.
  1. Make use of your resources: Knowledge is power – and knowledge is also the most important tool you have at your disposal when PCSing. Conduct research on the new location you are moving to and shop around for the best deals on housing, cars and other purchases early on in the moving process. The internet is a great source of information on both your new location and any obstacles you might be facing while planning your move. It’s also a good idea to tap into your network of friends and family to get first-hand information from anyone who has lived at this location in the past or currently resides there. There are also numerous organizations on base to help with your transition, such as the Airman & Family Readiness Center that offers a Plan My Move tool.

Following the tips listed above and staying positive and focused throughout the PCS process is sure to make your relocation experience less stressful and virtually hassle-free. Treat relocation as a valuable life lesson that allows you to practice your flexibility and planning skills and remember to share best practices of your moving experience with those around you to help them in their time of transition.

What is Your Caregiver IQ?

In our recent MFLN Military Caregiving webinar, presenter Mary Brintnall-Peterson Ph.D., gave an overview of who caregivers are, their similarities and differences, challenges and joys they experience and ways you can provide support. Dr. Brintnall-Peterson got the conversation flowing with webinar participants as she provided an interactive learning session to test their caregiver IQ. The quiz results proved interesting as military helping professionals provided varying levels of experience and feedback to working with caregivers. If you missed the webinar session, there is still a chance test your caregiver knowledge.

Use the quiz below to “Test Your Caregiver IQ” and provide your response in the ‘comments’ section of the blog. You can learn more about caregiving by watching the latest recording of Test Your Caregiver IQ and earn a certificate of completion for training hours.

1 2 3 4 5 6 87

So…how well did your knowledge of caregiving fare?

This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on April 22, 2016.


Challenge Yourself to Save Money

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

Aside from making a New Year’s resolution, there is perhaps no better time for military families to save money than April. If they are early tax filers, a tax refund may be coming or may have already arrived. In addition, big winter home heating bills are in the rear view mirror and, ideally, lingering holiday credit card bills too.

Photo by Steven Depolo
Photo by Steven Depolo

What’s the best way for military families to save money? There is no one right answer. Automatic payroll deductions work well for many people, For example, they have deposits into a credit union account or Thrift Savings Plan retirement savings automatically taken out of their paycheck, before they spend it. Other people do well saving loose change in a jar and depositing it periodically in a savings account as the jar fills up.

A third way to save money is to complete a savings challenge that gradually ramps up deposits. While many people start these challenges during the first full week of January, as a New Year’s resolution, they can be started in April or at any other time. Another option is to make a “catch up deposit” in April, perhaps using tax refund money, and then complete a calendar year challenge from that point forward until the end of December.

Below is a description of four different savings challenges and how they operate:

The 52-Week Money Challenge– Perhaps the oldest of the money challenges (original source unknown) that are all over social media, especially in January, this challenge begins with a $1 deposit during Week #1. The weekly deposit rises by $1 per week and reaches $52 during the final week of the Challenge (Week #52), with total savings of $1,378. Some people have suggested doing the 52-Week Money Challenge in reverse. Some people have more money in January (e.g., from holiday gifts or a year-end bonus at work) than they do in December, which tends to be a very expensive month for many people with holiday gifts and travel. The “reverse challenge” strategy is also very motivating. After five weeks, you already have $250 saved. A third way to do the 52-Week Money Challenge is to pick an amount each week that you can afford (e.g., $25 one week and $16 the next) and complete the challenge in any order. Tracking forms are available at




The 52-Week Youth Money Challenge– I created this challenge for parents to use with their children. See http://www.slideshare.net/BarbaraONeill/52-week-money-challenge-for-youth0315. Weekly savings deposits are 10 weeks each of $1, $2, $3, $4, and $5, resulting in $150 of savings. Week #51 is an optional $25 from birthday gifts and Week #52 is an optional $25 from holiday gifts ($200 total). There is also an option for parents to provide a 50% ($100) match of their child’s savings, resulting in total annual savings of $300.

The 15-Week Money Challenge– I created this challenge for high school and college students and adults with short-term financial goals. See http://www.slideshare.net/BarbaraONeill/15-week-college-student-money-challenge0715. The Basic Challenge includes five weeks of $10 savings, five weeks of $20 savings, and five weeks of $30 savings, resulting in a total accumulation of $300. The “Hard Core” Challenge starts with a $10 weekly deposit and ramps up the savings deposit by $5 per week for a final deposit of $80, resulting in a total accumulation of $675. The 18 students in my Fall 2015 Rutgers University Personal Finance class took the challenge as an initial pilot test and collectively saved almost $6,000 over the course of the semester.

The $2,500 Savings Challenge– I created this challenge to ramp up the amount saved from the 52-Week Money Challenge. I also like round numbers. Hence, the $2,500 savings goal. See http://www.slideshare.net/BarbaraONeill/50-week-2500-savings-challenge. The challenge begins with a $2 deposit during Week #1. The weekly deposit rises by $2 per week and reaches a high of $98. There are two weeks “off” at a saver’s discretion and a $50 deposit is made during the final week of the Challenge (Week #50), with total savings of $2,500. Like the 52-Week Money Challenge, the $2,500 Savings Challenge can be done forward, backward, or in any order that works for individual savers.

Want to save money for future financial goals? Challenge yourself and/or your children to save by completing one of the four savings challenges described above. For more information about the benefits of saving money, visit http://articles.extension.org/pages/8634/financial-security:-saving-and-investing and http://www.americasaves.org/.


Why Research Is Important To Today’s Caregiver


Blog post written by Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Extension

As a caregiver, I focus on the needs of my husband and on ways to manage our hectic lives. So when I get a request to participate in a research study about my caregiving experiences, my first thought was, “NO way.” I don’t have an extra minute to spare to take time to complete a survey or talk to someone on the phone. Yet lately, I’ve been wondering if by not participating in the research my voice and others like me aren’t included. My personal realization about needing to participate in research is reinforced as I reviewed some of the most recent studies on family caregiving. So the goal of this blog article is to convince you to join me in saying, “YES,” the next time you are recruited for a caregiving research project.

In looking at the research on family caregivers, a majority of the studies done over 20 years ago were mostly about caring for older adults. There was little research on military caregivers, especially younger military caregivers. There was some research on caring for children with disabilities who were under 18 years of age, but nothing on children caring for their parents. Within the last few years the amount of research on caregivers has increased for several reasons: (1) an aging population resulting in more people needing caregivers, (2) public programs (Medicare, VA, and other military programs) responding to needs of their clients, (3) recognition that family members providing care is less costly than institutionalization, and (4) interest in disease or illness specific research such as caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or traumatic brain injury. This research provides data needed to help policy makers make better decisions, offers information to professionals so they can provide better services, and highlights the needs of families so services can be created and educational programs developed.

Regardless of the study’s caregiver audience, there are similarities and differences between the caregiver types. For example, all caregivers experience stress but the reasons for the stress are different. A young caregiver may experience stress because they are employed and caring for other children, while an older caregiver may be caring for an aging parent or spouse. There are many combinations, but what is important is that the differences come to light in the research. These studies have been helpful in creating public policy and educational programs resulting in professionals treating all caregivers as individuals as one size does not fit all.

In you aren’t aware of recent caregiver studies here are a few that might interest you:

  1. Caregiving in the United States – Focuses on older adult caregivers with information about caregivers over 75 years of age and multicultural caregivers.
  2. Rand Study of Military Family Caregivers – Focus on caregivers of wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.
  3. Creation of Multi-Institutional Center – Study the needs of families caring for people of all ages who have disabilities.

If you want to explore ways to participate in family caregiver research, search family caregiver websites review researcher’s descriptions of their project and identify characteristics of the caregivers within their studying. For example, there is currently a research project on TBI from the Family Caregiver Alliance.

Researchers also seek caregivers by connecting with blogs, other social media sites and caregiver networks as a way to secure possible caregivers for their studies. As caregivers, we can also promote and share announcements of research studies with caregivers we know and the caregiver social media outlets we visit.

So share your thoughts, ideas, and wisdom about being a caregiver so research will have the voice of military caregivers!

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This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on March 18, 2016.


IRAs: Last Chance to Reduce 2015 Income Taxes

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

It’s “crunch time” for federal income taxes. While the tax filing deadline is usually April 15, it is April 18 this year due to a Washington D.C. holiday called Emancipation Day. Bottom line: taxpayers, including most military families, have an extra weekend to prepare their taxes. That’s the good news. The bad news is there is not much you can do now to lower your tax bill. Opportunities, such as charitable donations and Thrift Savings Plan contributions, and capital losses on investments, all went out the window at midnight last New Year’s Eve.

A photograph of a male solider sitting in a classroom at a desk with a tax form in front of him.
U.S. Army photos by Pfc. Ma, Jae-sang

The only way that taxpayers may be able to save money on taxes now is to contribute to a tax-deferred individual retirement account (IRA). The deadline for deposits to 2015 traditional and Roth IRAs and SEP IRAs for self-employed workers is also April 18, 2016 (see https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Traditional-and-Roth-IRAs). Below are some key points to know about IRAs and the tax savings that they can provide:

  • There are many types of IRAs: Roth, Traditional, Rollover, and Spousal, to name a few. Not every IRA provides an initial tax deduction, but they all provide tax-deferred growth on both the amount contributed (saved) and earnings on that money. Roth IRAs also provide the potential for tax-free growth.
  • The maximum contribution allowed by law for IRAs (Roth and/or Traditional) in both 2015 and 2016 is $5,500 for workers under age 50 and $6,500, with an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution, for workers age 50 and older. These numbers assume an earned income equal to these amounts. Workers can contribute the smaller of the annual limit allowed by tax law or their taxable compensation during the calendar year.
  • Income limits apply to qualify to contribute to Roth IRAs. For 2015 income taxes, the adjusted gross income (AGI) phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA was $116,000 to $131,000 for single taxpayers and heads of household and $183,000 to $193,000 for married couples filing jointly.
  • When workers qualify by income for a partial Roth IRA contribution, they can put the remaining amount of the contribution limit into a Traditional IRA (e.g., $2,500 Roth IRA and $3,000 Traditional IRA in 2015).
  • If single workers, or both spouses in a married couple filing jointly, are not covered by an employer’s retirement plan, Traditional IRA contributions are deductible regardless of income.
  • If a worker has an employer retirement plan, income limits apply to qualify to deduct a contribution to a Traditional IRA. The phase-out AGI ranges for 2015 income taxes are $61,000 for single taxpayers and heads of household and $98,000 to $118,000 for married couples filing jointly.
  • If workers don’t qualify, income-wise, for either a tax-deductible Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, they can still fund a non-deductible Traditional IRA and later convert it to a Roth IRA, if desired.
  • Workers can’t make contributions to a Traditional IRA once they reach age 70½. However, they can still contribute to a Roth IRA, provided that they have earned income (e.g., salary from a job or net earnings from a small business or freelance work).

For more information about IRAs, visit this IRS page with frequently asked questions (FAQs): https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-regarding-IRAs-Contributions

Breast Feeding-Nature’s Best! Meet our presenter Rose Marie Straeter, MA, RLC, IBCLC

 Rose Marie Straeter, MA, RLC, IBCLC

Rose Marie Straeter, MA, RLC, IBCLC

by Robin Allen, MSPH, RDN, LDN

Rose began working with breastfeeding mothers and babies in 1988 as a La Leche League (LLL) Leader.  She has held area positions in Indiana and Illinois La Leche League as Assistant Area Professional Liaison, Area Professional Liaison, Communication Skills Instructor and Communication Skills Coordinator.  She enjoyed breastfeeding their two children.  She became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 1994.  While living in Indiana, she wrote monthly articles for the magazine “Hoosier Parent”.  Her articles were also published in newsletters in both Indiana and Illinois including one titled “Texting 101 for La Leche League Leaders”.  She participated on the Illinois Breastfeeding Blueprint Committee.

She owned and operated a private practice serving a wide area in Southern Indiana.  She worked as the head of the Lactation Department at a Women’s Hospital after they purchased her private practice business.  She has conducted numerous in-services at hospitals in Indiana and Illinois.  She has presented sessions at conferences and workshops.  She has been a speaker at the Indiana and Illinois State and regional conferences for LLL.

She worked with a local Indiana WIC office as a contractual employee providing breastfeeding education for employees and providing client follow-up.  She worked at a local Health Department in Illinois as a Senior Peer Counselor, Breastfeeding Coordinator, and the Peer Counselor Supervisor.

Rose was contracted to do four webinars by the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Springfield Urban League Community Health Training Center.  The targeted audience included Breastfeeding & WIC Coordinators, Hospital Staff, Health Care Professionals, Peer Counselors, Doulas, Front-line staff, Regional Task Forces and Coalitions and other Coalition Members and Breastfeeding Advocates. She is an instructor for the “Loving Support” training for new Breastfeeding Peer Counselors in Illinois through the IDHS.

Rose’s educational background in secondary education has provided beneficial knowledge in the area of providing breastfeeding education to clients and other health care professionals.  Her training as a Communication Skills Instructor has provided additional skills that facilitate positive communication.   She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Organizational Leadership.  Her Applied Research Project examined the negative and uncomfortable feelings women have toward breastfeeding and their underlying factors.  In addition, she recently completed all course work for a Ph.D. and is in the process of completing her dissertation.

This post was written by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebookon Twitterand LinkedIn.

Practical Approaches to Child Psychiatry: Upcoming Caregiving Webinar

April 2016 Webinar Announcement

Mark your calendars for our upcoming MFLN Military Caregiving professional development webinar entitled, ADHD, Anxiety, and Autism: Practical Approaches to Child Psychiatry.

 Time: 11:00 a.m. Eastern
Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Event Location: https://learn.extension.org/events/2492

This interactive webinar session will be provided by a board certified child psychiatrist that will focus on two very common disorders in childhood, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety. As a military service provider, the webinar will also provide an opportunity for you to learn more about the mysteries of Autism Spectrum Disorders and practical ways parents and caregivers can help manage these disorders.

Key learning objectives include:

  • Differentiate psychiatric disorders from typical sociocultural variants.
  • Better appreciate the diagnosis and management of 3 common child psychiatric conditions.
  • Identify mental health providers and their areas of expertise.
  • Discuss medication treatment options for these common concerns.

You will be required to register for the event in order to join. We will be offering 1.0 continuing education (CE) credit from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for credentialed participants, as well as Certificates of Completion for those interested in receiving training hours.

Brian J. Dixon, M.D., Executive Director of Progressive Psychiatry and board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist will be presenting. Dr. Dixon’s experiences include teaching, community mental health, and private health care arenas. Dr. Dixon has said that ‘he has had the great fortune of working with kids in multiple settings and has learned that the field of child psychiatry is often misunderstood from multiple angles.’ To learn more about Dr. Dixon visit, Progressive Psychiatry.

Interested in Joining the Webinar?

To join the webinar, simply click on ADHD, Anxiety, and Autism: Practical Approaches to Child Psychaitry. The webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense APAN system, but is open to the public.

If you cannot connect to the APAN site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream. Mobile options for Ustream are available on all Apple and Android devices.

This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on April 8, 2016.

Autism Awareness

Untitled-4Did you know that the month of April is set-aside as ‘Autism Awareness Month?’ In today’s blog we highlight Autism Spectrum Disorder, its potential effects on military families and resources for military helping professionals.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD is mostly commonly known and referred to as Autism. Individuals with ASD may display either high-/or low-functioning Autism. There are several distinct diagnoses and symptoms for ASD as it relates to social communication skills, fine and gross motor skills, unusual responses to sensory input and intellectual skills.7

 Causes of Autism

You may find that ASD occurs more often in people who have certain genetic or chromosomal conditions.13 If you are working with a parent who has a child with ASD, there is a 2-18 percent chance their second child may also be affected.6,11  Studies show that among identical twins, if one child has ASD, then the other will be affected 36-95 percent of the time. However, if the twins are fraternal the chance of the other child having ASD reduces to 0-31 percent.4,8-9,12

 Autism in the U.S.

Autism affects many Americans across the country. In fact you, yourself may know of individuals with ASD. Let’s take a quick glance at ASD in the U.S.

  • ASD’s prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births (CDC, 2014).
  • ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups (CDC, 2014)
  • More than 3.5 million Americans live with ASD.2
  • ASD is almost 5 times more common among males (1 in 42) than among females (1 in 168) (CDC, 2014).
 Cost of Autism

ASD can be costly for families, accounting for approximately $236-262 billion annually.2 On average, medical expenditures for children and adolescents with ASD were 4-6 times greater than for those without ASD.10 In addition, rigorous behavioral interventions for children with ASD cost $40,000 to $60,000 per child per year.1

 Autism and Military Families

For military families, dealing with the stress of relocation, deployment and the culture itself can put an added amount of stress on families, compared to civilians. However when the military family has a child with special needs, more specifically a child with Autism, stress can be even greater for the family. There are many issues that these families are faced with when their child has ASD, such as:

  • Emotional distress when a parent or family member is deployed.3
  • Availability of services when relocating to a new installation.3
  • Schools not having the services to meet the needs of ASD children, which may lead to possibly filing for mediation and due process if the caregiver feels the school is not meeting the Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) law.3
 Resources to Support Families with Autism

To learn more on how you can help support your military families and caregivers on ASD check out the resources below.



[1] Amendah, D., Grosse, S.D., Peacock, G., & Mandell, D.S. (2011). The Economic Costs of Autism: A Review. Autism Spectrum Disorders, 1347-1360. Retrieved March 10, 2016

[2] Buescher, A.V., Cidav, Z., Knapp, M., & Mandell, D.S. (2014). Costs of Austism Spectrum Disorders in the United Kingdom and the United States. JAMA Pediatrics JAMA Pediatr, 168(8), 721.

[3] Davis, J.M., & Finke, E.H, (2015). The Experience of Military Families with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders During Relocation and Separation. J Autism Dev Disord Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(7), 2019-2034.

[4] Hallmayer, J. (2011). Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs With Autism. Arch Gen Psychiatry Archives of General Psychiatry, 86(11), 1095.

[5] Is it Autism? What Should I Do? (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2016, from http://autism.about.com/od/whatisautism/u/symptomsdiagnosis.htm

[6] Ozonoff, s., Young, G.S., Carter, A., Messinger, D., Yirmiya, N., Zwaigenbaum,L., Stone, W.L. (2011). Recurrence Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Baby Siblings Research Consortium Study. Pediatrics. Retrieved March 10, 2016

[7] Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2010. (2014). Retrieved March 15, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6302a1.htm?s_cid=ss6302a1_w

[8] Ronald, A., Happe, F., Bolton, P., Butcher, L.M., Price, T.S., Wheelwright, S., Plomin, R. (2006). Genetic Heterogeneity Between the Three Components of the Autism Spectrum: A twin Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 45(6), 691-699. Retrieved March 10, 2016.

[9] Rosenburg, R. E., Law, J. K., Yenokyan, G., Mcgready, J., Kaufmann, W.E., & Law, P. A. (2009). Characteristics and Concordance of Autism Spectrum Disorders Among 277 Twin Pairs. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 163(10) 907.

[10] Shimabuluro, T.T., Grosse, S.D., & Rice, C. (2007). Medical Expenditures for Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Privately Insured Population. J Autism Dev Disord Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(3), 546-552.

[11] Sumi, S., Taniai, H., Miyachi, T., & Tanemura, M. (2006). Sibling risk of pervasive developmental disorder estimated by means of an epidemiologic survey in Nagoya, Japan. Journal of Human Genetics J Hum Genet, 51(6), 518-522.

[12] Taniai, H., Nishiyami, T., Miyachi, T., Imaeda, M., & Sumi, S. (2008). Genetic influences on the broad spectrum of autism: Study of proband-ascertained twins. Am. J. Med. Genet. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 147B(6), 844-849.

[13] Top 10 Easy Autism Facts to Share with Friends and Family, (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2016, from http://autism.about.com/od/whatisautism/tp/topfacts.htm

This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on April 1, 2016