Pilot Program for Extending Behavioral Health Therapy Created for the Military

On December 20 and 21, 2012, the 2013 National Defense Reauthorization Act was passed by the House and Senate, respectively, which includes a one year pilot program to expand the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) by TRICARE, the health care program for our nation’s military.  While this program is a step forward for military families that have children with ASD, The Arc had sought that it be expanded to include military dependents with a range of developmental disabilities. Research has shown that applied behavioral analysis (ABA), in particular, is effective in reducing self-injurious behaviors in people with the most significant disabilities.  The Arc will monitor the implementation of this program and awaits the Secretary’s report on the feasibility of establishing a program for the treatment of ASD under TRICARE and its Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) Program for dependents with disabilities. View The Arc’s statement on our blog.