Parent Center staff who work with military-connected youth during their crucial high school years know how disruptive a move can be, particularly “re-doing” a transition IEP with new sources of State and local training, support, and services. Parent Centers have the contacts and information to help the youth and family move ahead.
As we know, having a parent away for a lengthy time places extra stress on children and the at-home parent, siblings or other care givers. No matter how often a military parent is deployed, and no matter how well-prepared a child might be for a parent’s absence, children with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of stress on their physical and emotional well-being.
To help improve support for the child and increased understanding and support from teachers and schools, here are a few ways you and your center can help military families prepare their child’s school for deployment:
The Interstate Compact is an excellent tool for your work with military families. There are resources for parents that describe what the Interstate Compact is, and what it can be used for. These two handouts are for military parents who want to know what specific steps to take to start resolving issues by using the Compact, and what their next steps are if their first efforts don’t succeed. You’ll find them helpful too!
We’ve created a guide to our most useful materials on military families: their culture, their unique needs, and the military systems that support them when they have a child with a disability. There is something for every staff member, from those with lengthy experience working with military families to those just starting out. AND-links to parent handouts, including 3 handouts you can brand with your Parent Center logo!
Military families have unique concerns around the supports and services needed by their child with special needs. On the one hand, they have guaranteed medical coverage through TRICARE, the military health care system and its range of special programs. On the other, there are distinct limits to coverage and programs which may leave military families without some essential supports and services. Medicaid can be an option for some military families which they may not have considered, and which Parent Center staff can help them explore.
The Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) is a program offered through TRICARE, the military health care system.
ECHO may help some military families who have a family member with special needs. ECHO focuses on integrated sets of services and supplies beyond those available through TRICARE programs. Services are intended to reduce the disabling effects of a beneficiary’s condition. ECHO is only available as a supplement to TRICARE programs. If services or supplies are available through a beneficiary’s TRICARE plan, they won’t be covered under ECHO.