A majority of military spouses with children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder say that the needs of their children are not being met, according to a Penn State Study by doctoral student Jennifer Davis.
Frequent relocation is cited by the study as a “compounding factor” in the challenges faced by military families who have children with autism. The unmet needs ranged from social skills therapy and behavioral management interventions to speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
Some key findings of the study, which surveyed 189 families with one or more children with autism:
- All of the respondents reported having at least one incident of a need going unmet.
- 88% of the respondents reported an unmet need for social skills therapy.
- 78% of the respondents reported delayed access to intervention services as a result of relocation.
- 70% of the respondents reported feeling that the continuity of services between locations is lacking.
- 58% of the respondents reported that difficulty finding doctors or other medical professionals who were trained to meet their child’s disability.
The study results were published in the January online edition of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and the Penn State summary of the article can be found here.