April began four days ago, and it’s taken me this long to write my yearly Month of the Military Child and Autism Awarenesss/Acceptance month post. I think there are a few reasons I’m struggling this year. Some of which stem from the reasons that not a lot has changed since last year. Let’s face it, I find it highly ironic that both begin on April Fool’s Day. Lately, I feel like every day I have to deal with the big Army machine is April Fool’s Day.
One reason I’m struggling with Month of the Military Child posts this year is because Facebook is absolutely littered with statuses from various military organizations about how precious our military children are and how much they matter in the grand scheme of military life. The reality for our families is that these people don’t give a damn. I mean seriously. If IMCOM and the office of Military and Community Family Policy REALLY and TRULY cared, since someone at the DoD got a visit from “the good idea fairy” and thought it would be a good idea to contract out respite care for our EFMP (exceptional family member program) families, I would have had working respite care for more than THREE WEEKS since last year around St. Patrick’s Day. That was the last day my husband and I truly got out by ourselves. Since then, it’s been constant chasing down people to get them to do their jobs. I’ll leave out why the current contract ended up getting re-bid and the current company is losing it, but I’m sure this is just one of the many reasons.
It also took not only a class action lawsuit in the last year, but an act of Congress to get ABA therapy, but only for kids with autism, to get ABA therapy from Tricare. So no matter what you see floating around about how wonderful Tricare is, the reality is that when push comes to shove and you REALLY need care, not so much. If you can’t just head to the MTF for some Motrin or an antibiotic, you can expect to jump through hoops of fire for what you need. This has been made worse by your lovely Senators and Representatives in DC who want to balance the budget with the sequester. Cuts aren’t happening where there is truly excess, it’s happening where it hurts the most people. Can’t wait for mid-term elections.
Then there’s Autism Awareness/Acceptance month. There’s been so much infighting in the community, frankly, I want to say, “screw them all.” I’m so over it. I’m aware of autism every day. My boys make me quite aware thank you. It’s even been pointed out how I pretty much fit the bill too.
As for acceptance, if we as an autism community want others outside the community to be accepting, then the accepting needs to start from within. People need to stop being so ugly and accept that not everyone has the same journey. Autism is a spectrum. Autism affects not only children, but also those children eventually grow into teens and adults who also need supports. Everyone has a voice. No one voice is better than another. No one voice has more say than another. They are all just different stories in the journey. All voices that when woven together tell the whole story. So stop being so ugly and accept each other. Work together. No one is going to take acceptance seriously from the outside until you do.
And that is why I’m finding this April full of bullshit.