Autism Pilot Extended

Autism Pilot Extended

Read that title and tell me what it means to you. (Backstory: it was a link off the front page of the Navy Times.)

My guess: that some naval pilot, afflicted with autism (is afflicted the proper term?) got extended somewhere. Like the USS Ronald Reagan. I say, kudos to the airdale. Landing on carriers and being autistic. That is overcoming some odds. But no. The real story:

The Pentagon announced Tuesday it is extending a pilot program that provides autism treatment to the children of service members.

Tricare Management Activity will extend the Enhanced Access to Autism Services demonstration program through March 2014, according to a news release.

The initiative allows beneficiaries — qualifying offspring of active-duty personnel — to receive 10 hours a week of applied behavioral analysis, or ABA, a treatment that helps autistic youngsters learn new skills and improve communications.

The program continuation is good news for the families of the estimated 20,000 autistic military children.

Not as flashy. But still. I’m not making fun of autistic folks by worrying about them landing on carriers. Hell, I couldn’t myself. They call it a controlled crash landing. I call it unbelievable skill meeting sheer bravery.

3 thoughts on “Autism Pilot Extended”

  1. Since autism is more of a social skills problem, there could be an autistic pilot who lands on a carrier. He just wouldn’t be bragging and smoking cigars with the guys afterwards.

  2. Hi. I am the parent of two youngmen on the autism spectrum. You do not say afflicted with autism. You say as I did “on the autism spectrum.” They by no means feel afflicted. Autism is a development disorder not a disease.

    It is about time that the government extended this program to the children of service personnel. While autism rates for the general population are 1 in 110, for service personnel it is 1 in 88. No one knows why either.

    PS I do not think when they are talking about pilot program they are talking about training them as pilots..of course if that was supposed to be funny, it was lost on me since a diagnosis of autism prevents one from serving their country. Which is why my oldest had to give up his childhood dream of applying to West Point. By the way he would have made the service proud.

  3. Good point Lou.
    IP: Thanks for the correct terminology. And I am sorry your little /medium guys could not serve. No doubt they would have made a fine addition to the US Naval Academy. I think their talents may have been lost on West Point though. Not that I am biased.

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