Today is Armed Forces Day, a national day to recognize the honor and sacrifice by all members of America’s military.
Whether you have served one day in the military or you personify a lifetime of service, today is for you. America is grateful for your service.
For our military members who have a family member with autism, you serve above and beyond, and deserve an extra salute.
This day have been around almost as long as the Department of Defense. It was originally announced by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson on August 31, 1949. The recognition of all our armed forces replaced individual Army, Navy and Air Force Days and was signified unification of all services under the recently created Department of Defense.
President Harry Truman announced the official day on Feb. 27, 1950, through a proclamation stating, “Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”
Service to our country can be difficult in itself. For many the days are long, tough and stressful. The moves, requirements and being on call 24 hours a day, every day is part of the military lifestyle.
The military members go through a lot, and it takes a lot out of you. Many members have security clearances that pre-empt any discussion of how work actually was. Often the military member has to hold back on a lot of stresses, especially in a deployed environment, as to not concern the family back on the homefront.
When you have to deploy at a moment’s notice and leave your family behind, you miss out on life. Not just the birthdays, holidays and weekend outings, but the simple things that most people take for granted, such as a smile, having dinner together and living life.
This is especially difficult if your child has autism. You cannot be there for supporting them and if something really goes wrong, you are half a world away.
The other 99 percent of our nation’s citizens have no idea how hard it is to do some of the things our families do. But they are supportive of your role, regardless or politics or perspective on war.
On this 63rd celebration of your service, enjoy your day.
Mother’s Day is a special opportunity to recognize the importance of moms in our society.
But today is about more than just celebrating motherhood for our Autism community.
Simply put to all our mothers out there, today is a day to honor your commitment and sacrifice.
You are a mother. You are a warrior for your children.
Being part of a military society, the term warrior is often associated with the lifestyle of service. This is you in more ways that you know.
You fight, you face the challenges that families not in the military might not appreciate and you are what make today’s military family function.
Whether serving on active duty, Guardsman or Reservist, or as the critical role of Commander in Chief della casa, you play a crucial role in keeping the family as a cohesive unit.
There are so many facets to your service: deployments, exercises, TDYs, permanent change of station moves, operational necessity, and being the rock for others. You are at the center of all these, regardless of whether you wear the uniform or not. The work may feel unappreciated, but you are very much appreciated.
The mother warrior deals with all the above, with life and and something more. There is Autism Spectrum Disorder and perhaps other challenges as a special needs parent.
To all of you who never back down and never give up, the community salutes you. You are the brave, the inspiring and the ones who are changing the world.
You are part of the military community, yet different. You are part of the Autism community, yet different. You are a Mother Warrior and deserve recognition for all you do through the tough fight to set your children up for success in this tough world.
This is no slight to the dads, who celebrate a day of their own next month, but every one of them are most likely to give the credit to the mom. It’s important to note that on our Facebook page 80.8 percent ( up from 80 percent last year) of the over 3,400 community members are women. While all might not be mothers, a large proportion of the commenters on our daily questions, posts and interactions are.
It’s these mother warriors asking the questions no one wants to answer to find a solution that doesn’t exist for children on the autism spectrum. These mother warriors are persistent and showing the true love they have for their children by never, never, never giving up.
Thank you moms for keeping up the fight in our war on autism. Together we can make a difference!
Whether caring to admit it or not, everyone who has every attended school has been impacted by a teach in some fashion.
If you’re in the first category, you might be interested that today is National Teacher Appreciation Day and May 6-10 is National Teacher Appreciation Week.
While the day is a general recognition of the great teachers who have changed lives, it also needs to serve as an opportunity to say thanks to all the teachers who have made a difference for our family members with autism spectrum disorder.
Think for a moment of all the people in your child’s life who have gone the extra mile for them. Ask yourself this: what teacher, or teachers, do you appreciate, and why?
There’s a lot of people who can fit the role of a teacher outside of the normal school structure. For instance, would you consider your ABA therapist a teacher? How about the speech therapist, special education team lead, or other person who works directly with your child? In a special education environment, even an aide can act in the form of a teacher, providing vital feedback and encouragement to the student.
Today is a great chance to reflect on those who have served in a teaching capacity and made a difference. Take the time to give thanks to those who will make such a difference in your child’s future, or have in yours.
To our surprise American Military Families Autism Support was again recognized for the important role it plays in supporting military families dealing with autism spectrum disorder.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Today, public health officials estimate that 1 in every 88 children in America is growing up on the autism spectrum. It is a reality that affects millions of families every day, from the classroom to the job market. And while our country has made progress in supporting Americans with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), we are only beginning to understand the factors behind the challenges they face. On World Autism Awareness Day, we recommit to helping individuals on the autism spectrum reach their full potential.
To achieve that goal, we need a health care system that works for children and adults with ASDs. The Affordable Care Act prevents insurers from denying coverage to children on the autism spectrum, and it ensures new health plans must cover autism screenings at no cost to parents. Beginning in 2014, the Act will make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against men and women with preexisting conditions, including ASDs. And looking ahead, my Administration is investing in medical research that can help unlock tomorrow’s breakthroughs in autism detection, intervention, and education.
Leveling the playing field for Americans on the autism spectrum also takes commitment in our schools. That is why we are advancing initiatives to help students with ASDs get a good education free from discrimination and undue hardship. And it is why we are making sure that education can lead to meaningful employment by supporting vocational rehabilitation programs and opening higher education to more people on the autism spectrum.
All Americans should have the chance to live full, independent lives and follow their talents wherever they lead. This month, we recognize Americans with ASDs who are walking through doors of opportunity, and we recommit to opening them wider in the years ahead.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2, 2013, as World Autism Awareness Day. I encourage all Americans to learn more about autism and what they can do to support individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
WASHINGTON, March 19, 2013 – On the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released a statement today honoring the sacrifices made by service members, their families and the Iraqi people.
Here is the text of the secretary’s statement:
This week marks the ten year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War. While that conflict has been brought to an end, we must never lose sight of the tremendous sacrifices our brave men and women in uniform made during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Every one of the more than one million service members that deployed to Iraq, often for multiple tours of duty, deserves our highest praise and deepest debt of gratitude. They served with valor and met every challenge – from the streets of Fallujah and Sadr City to outposts in Ramadi and Mosul – always watching out for their brothers and sisters in arms.
The American people will always honor the sacrifices of the 4,475 U.S. service members who died in Iraq, and the more than 32,000 who came home wounded. Every man and woman who served in Iraq carries with them the scars of war. As we remember these quiet heroes this week we are also reminded of their families and their sacrifices, as we also honor and thank them.
Our reflections include the Iraqi people – the Iraqi soldiers and police officers who died alongside our own, the men and women who were caught in the crossfire, and those who still struggle today to secure and govern their nation. The Iraqi people will determine the future of Iraq and the United States will continue to support their efforts for a peaceful, secure, free, and prosperous nation.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 – A free iPhone app for the Thrift Savings Plan available at the Apple App Store could pose a security risk, program officials warned.
A notice on the Thrift Savings Plan website says the “TSP Funds” app, which asks participants for their account login information, is not sanctioned.
“This app is not being offered through the TSP, and the TSP does not recommend using this application to access your TSP account,” the notice says. “Providing this information could result in a security risk to your account.”
The Thrift Savings Plan is a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees and members of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve. It was established by Congress in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986 and offers the same types of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans.
(American Forces Press Service)
WASHINGTON, March 8, 2013 – Budget problems have forced the Army and Marine Corps to cancel the tuition assistance program, service officials said today.
Navy and Air Force officials said they are studying the way forward with the program and expect decisions next week.
Today I came across a campaign some of the larger autism organizations are promoting called “Spread the Word to End the Word” aimed at the use of Retarded in our lexicon.
At first I didn’t think much of it, but upon reflection it became evident I should have.
You see, I’ve seen it on two sides of the fence, how it imposes a certain limitation on the person it’s projected at and how it can hurt.
Growing up in Southern California during the 80s, there were a lot of ways to use words that was foreign to the rest of the country. Using “That’s Retarded” or That’s (blank) was one of the ways to express something in a negative way.
Kids didn’t think much of this because it was just SoCal speak. Looking back, I understand a lot better how this could have impacted people, even without my knowledge.
I also have a cousin who during our childhood was considered slow. It wasn’t talked about in the family, but that “word” was part of the consideration. I didn’t understand why there was hesitation to address it; to me he was just my cousin.
Years later, I was further exposed to the word while working in a public relations position for a disability advocacy organization. This was at the time when the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed and I started to better comprehend the power of the word in limiting access and affecting how people look at someone.
Having a son with autism and dealing with the issues that so many parents are experiencing with bullying, the word is not only menacing in the pain it inflicts, but it denotes a notion of being substandard to those who also hear it.
Hearing that other children use the word as a weapon to insult or demean your child is infuriating and brings a new realization that it hurts everyone the same. It has to stop.
A few years back I discovered something interesting. My cousin is autistic. He’s funny, honest, kind and has a great perspective on life; exactly how he was during our childhood.
As family members understand more about autism and the realities, I wonder if they now understand that jumping to conclusions and labeling without understanding is really unfair. Besides that, it’s just ignorant.
I share this because I’ve seen the dagger this word represents and the impact it can have on people.
Take a moment to visit r-word.org and check out some of the stories and take the pledge to stop using this word.
WASHINGTON – Civilian personnel at Department of Defense Education Activity schools and the Defense Commissary Agency will be affected by sequestration, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here Monday.
The department will struggle to ensure DODEA — which serves 84,000 students at 194 schools — maintains an accredited school year, Little said.