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Goal: 50,000 Progress: 24,233
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

Jan 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 14, 2018 Sue Ellen Lupien
Jan 12, 2018 Melissa Valenzuela
Jan 6, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 2, 2018 Jodi Ford
Dec 28, 2017 Teresa Cruz-Wortman
Dec 26, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 21, 2017 Janis Ciofalo
Dec 19, 2017 doris gonen
Dec 17, 2017 Valerie Romero
Dec 13, 2017 Karrie Vukelic
Dec 13, 2017 Stacey Govito
Dec 12, 2017 Chloé Espinasse
Dec 11, 2017 A Martin
Dec 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 7, 2017 Quentin Fischer
Dec 3, 2017 Jon Sexton Talk to Veteran Medical Center Director have a meeting at least once a week for Non Combat Veterans who has PTSD.
Nov 15, 2017 Sharrell Callaway
Nov 15, 2017 Graciela Macedo-Camacho
Nov 13, 2017 P Garbett
Nov 12, 2017 Emily Louise Klatt
Nov 12, 2017 DayLynn McDonald
Nov 12, 2017 jennifer palladino
Nov 11, 2017 Octavia DeLaGarza
Nov 10, 2017 Vianney Ventura
Nov 10, 2017 Joanne Franchi
Nov 10, 2017 Betty Tijerina No military soldier gets the pay for what they do so when faced with these medical diagnosis they need these services for their children. Please hear us on this.
Nov 4, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 1, 2017 penni Herrick
Oct 30, 2017 Sofia Fernandez-Amaro Please do all possible for Veterans families and take care of children with Autism they need the best care. God Bless
Oct 28, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 25, 2017 Kimberly Wallace
Oct 21, 2017 Mary Wendtland
Oct 17, 2017 Arnold Cabral Call your Representative and your Senators contract the Veteran Affairs Committee passed a New Veteran Disabled Benefit Law who is collected 100 percent service connected should get the G4implants for free by a Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist..Semper Fi
Oct 15, 2017 Deborah Moore
Oct 15, 2017 Judith King
Oct 15, 2017 barbara gale
Oct 15, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 15, 2017 Kristin Conrad
Oct 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 14, 2017 cathy mitchamore
Oct 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 11, 2017 Mrs. Moody
Oct 11, 2017 Maryanne Preli
Oct 11, 2017 Judith Carlson
Oct 2, 2017 Anna Krohn
Oct 1, 2017 Sandra Leaper Give military families the benefits they have earned.
Oct 1, 2017 Susan Closson
Oct 1, 2017 Carmen Rodriguez
Oct 1, 2017 Dana Levy

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