Meeting your child's special needs


Meeting your child's special needs

by: Kim Suchek | .
. | .
published: July 02, 2013

Hello military community,

As military families are aware, family life in the military is no easy task. Especially if you have children while the constant worry of your service member is hanging over your family. In addition to all this strain, some military families have the additional challenge of raising a child with special needs. For those of you that are unaware, there are a number of resources available to help. Here are a few of my favorites.

  1. Special Needs Parent Toolkit: The Department of Defense (DOD) Special Needs Parent Toolkit contains 110 pages of comprehensive information and tools geared towards helping military families with special needs children navigate the maze of medical and special education services, community support and benefits and entitlements.  Each module contains valuable and useful resources and important information and facts; record-keeping tools and sample letters have also been incorporated. The Tool Kit is divided into six colorful modules that can be easily downloaded and printed.
  2. Operation Autism: Directly supports U.S. military families touched by autism and autism spectrum disorders. It serves as an introduction to autism, a guide for the life journey with autism, and a ready reference for available resources, services, and support.
  3. American Military Families Autism Support: Is a grassroots effort started in 2008 by military families, for military families, providing new, information, contacts and options for military families dealing with autism spectrum disorder. Due to the nature of military life and the challenges of autism, these families often experience additional stressors over non-military families.
  4. Special Needs Families in the Military: A Resource Guide: Covers the basic challenges which all special needs families must face, and also pays special attention to those resources, programs, and aids available to special needs families in the military, where the added stresses of military life often make things seem overwhelming. This book guides special needs families through all the procedures and protocol they must face, and offers helpful tips for setbacks and unexpected challenges that may arise. It is essential reading for military families with special needs children and those who work with them.
  5. The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP):  Works with military families with special needs to address their unique needs throughout the assignment process and after families have settled into their new installation. Use these resources, tools, and articles to learn more about EFMP and the families it serves. (all branches have their own departments and/or POC)
  6. Military Special Needs Network—Facebook:  This site believes that families often find their greatest support in other families who are in similar situations. Their Facebook page offers a place to find information, support, and services which can meet the individual needs of their families. In addition the Facebook page allows parents to share, laugh and learn from each other. 

I hope you will find these resources helpful. If you know of another one that should be shared, or would like to share your experience with one of these resources, write in and let me know.

Blessings from my family to yours,

Kim Suchek

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at and visit my website at for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.

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