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Goal: 15,000 Progress: 14,441
Sponsored by: The Veterans Site

For years the Department of Defense (DoD) has refused to acknowledge the validity of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) in treating the symptoms of autism. With over 23,000 military dependents living on the spectrum, this means restricted access to the most valuable treatment currently available. Already burdened by the constant moving and social turmoil of military life, families must also pay out of pocket for this costly yet vital therapy.

Rather than embrace change, the military's primary health care program, TRICARE, has imposed a series of even more restrictive guidelines, all while DoD lawyers continue to argue against covering ABA, citing "a lack of evidence of effectiveness." Medical professionals and organizations agree, however, that ABA is the most effective treatment available, helping those with autism lead happy and productive lives. Children tend to respond best to the therapy at a younger age, so as the DoD stalls and delays, families are losing precious time to help their loved ones.

With the world's largest, best-equipped, and best-financed military, such practices are unacceptable. An effective military starts with the people. Let's give military families the benefits they have earned.

Sign Here






Dear Dr. Woodson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs:

As the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense of matters of health, you have an obligation to keep our nation's military healthy.

And you are failing.

For years the Department of Defense has refused to acknowledge the valuable service provided by Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) in treating the symptoms of autism. Medical consensus depicts ABA as the gold standard of autism therapies, yet TRICARE provides inadequate coverage and imposes unreasonable bureaucratic obstacles, leaving military families to incur debt trying to cover the costly yet necessary treatment.

It is time to live up to your obligation. The DoD should immediately:

  1. Recognize ABA as a "medical therapy." Current TRICARE policy labels ABA as "educational intervention" and places restrictive caps on who can receive benefits and how much they can receive. Even the federal courts recognized the misnomer, calling TRICARE's designation "arbitrary and capricious." Words matter.
  2. Fulfill the congressional mandate for a pilot program. The late-2012 order from Congress would establish a model for the future while providing immediate relief for the nation's veterans and their families. Several months overdue, the pilot should be launched immediately with clear and concise communication to the families affected.
  3. Reverse ABA cutbacks. The recently announced changes to ABA policy impose impractical obstacles to proper treatment and, given the timing of the changes, demonstrate an unwillingness to work with the families who are only seeking access to the benefits they earned.

The health and well-being of military families has a direct impact on military readiness. By continuing to stall on this matter, the DoD not only betrays the nation's military, but also puts the nation at risk.

Please do the right thing.

Petition Signatures


Nov 25, 2014 Amanisha Mead
Nov 25, 2014 Elizabeth Cardone
Nov 25, 2014 Mark Edmiston Don't make life about politics. It's always about the money -- spend it at home on something as basic as life!
Nov 24, 2014 Demetria Grieve
Nov 24, 2014 BARBRA LOVETT I THINK OUR MILITARY AND VETERANS SHOULD BE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST FOR ALL BENEFITS THE UNITED IS GIVING OUT. THEY GIVE ALL EVERYDAY OF THEIR LIFE IN THESERVICE AND OUT. LETS START LOOKING OUT FOR THOSE WHO LOOK OUT FOR US.
Nov 24, 2014 Nancy Bayer
Nov 24, 2014 Billie Wichkan
Nov 23, 2014 Melinda Crowe
Nov 23, 2014 MARYANN PITMAN
Nov 23, 2014 Chris Hunter
Nov 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 23, 2014 Cheryl Wincz
Nov 23, 2014 ines montalvo
Nov 23, 2014 Steve Sano
Nov 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 22, 2014 Tamara Ortgies Praying you get all the signatures you need and deserve. Thank you for serving our country. Thank you to my father for his prior service, my brothers current service, and my fiancé who will be serving soon.
Nov 22, 2014 Lori VanSickle
Nov 22, 2014 Glen Greening
Nov 22, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 22, 2014 Pamela Hankins They need this. God Bless these people.
Nov 22, 2014 Barb Brinkman
Nov 22, 2014 Laurie Cooney It's imperative that the Government make the military families a top priority in all areas of budgeting. Health care, housing for Vets, FOOD FOR ACTIVE DUTY SOLDIERS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES! Seriously, TOP PRIORITY!! God Bless Our Military & their families!!
Nov 22, 2014 Alyson Reilly
Nov 22, 2014 Mary Ann Farner
Nov 22, 2014 Guy garavaglia
Nov 22, 2014 Dawn Bowers
Nov 21, 2014 Lois Anderson
Nov 21, 2014 Sharon Tuggle Give our military and their dependents the benefits promised to them!
Nov 21, 2014 Judith Helter
Nov 21, 2014 Lisa Farley
Nov 21, 2014 Regina Mason Our military men and women deserve for their families and themselves to be taken care of. They have paid for all they are entitled to by protecting us all.
Nov 21, 2014 Bob Brucker We can never forget the price of freedom is not "free."
Nov 19, 2014 lisa wright god bless y'all and thank you for serving!
Nov 19, 2014 Cheryl Blankenship
Nov 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 19, 2014 Mairi MacDonald
Nov 18, 2014 Ruth McNaughton
Nov 18, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 18, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 18, 2014 Ruth Price
Nov 18, 2014 William Scholefield
Nov 18, 2014 SUSAN O'KEEFE
Nov 18, 2014 Sharon Bailey Honor. Our. Military. &. Their families
Nov 17, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 17, 2014 E. Kendrick Let's help our veterans while decreasing the number of pets in shelters, please! They all deserve it.
Nov 17, 2014 Dawna Harbuck
Nov 17, 2014 Chloé Espinasse
Nov 16, 2014 Lorie Ramos Love heals !!!
Nov 16, 2014 William Tubilleja
Nov 16, 2014 Gayle Champion

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