Disabled children of active duty military families who are enrolled in Tri Care’s Exceptional Family Member Program may be eligible for a Tri Care Waiver-equivalent program, the Extended Care Health Option/ECHO, which provides “financial assistance to beneficiaries with special needs for an integrated set of services and supplies.” This program is typically offered to children under the age of 18 but in some circumstances eligibility may be extended beyond 18. For more information see:

Military families have been hesitant to name their disabled children as beneficiaries of a retired parents’ Survivor Benefit Plan lest this inherited income stream puts the child’s essential Medicaid, Waiver, SSA and other public benefits at risk. Because Federal benefits must be paid “to a person”, a Special Needs Trust has not been an option for these parents. However, December 2014 the President signed into law the, “Military Child Protection Act” which allows a single exception to the provision that Federal benefits may only be paid to a person. Military parents may now name a Self-Funded Special Needs Trust for the Benefit of their disabled child as beneficiary of their Survivor Benefit Plan.

S.1076 — 113th Congress (2013-2014) Disabled Military Child Protection Act of 2013 on 12/19/2014. Authorizes monthly annuity payments under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) to a supplemental or special needs trust  established for the sole benefit of a disabled dependent child who is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical incapacity. (Became Public Law 113-291)

Because Military families move frequently from state to state and/or may live overseas, their children who are eligible for Medicaid Waivers are seldom placed on state Waiver waiting lists. In 2015 the Virginia General Assembly enacted a provision that will allow Wavier eligible children of military families to be included on the Virginia Waiver waiting lists if Virginia is the family’s military “Home of Record.” That is, if the family lives in Virginia and/or returns to Virginia for Retirement, their children may have a Waiver slot waiting for them “on hold” in Virginia. This is very good news!

An Act to require the Department of Medical Assistance Services to amend waiver eligibility criteria to allow dependents of active duty military members to remain on waiting lists for services when stationed outside the Commonwealth. [S 1036] Approved March 27, 2015

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. § 1. That the Department of Medical Assistance Services shall amend eligibility criteria for waivers supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to allow the dependent of an active duty member of the military who was added to the waiting list for services through such waivers while he was a resident of the  commonwealth to maintain his position on the waiting list following a transfer of the active duty military member to an assignment outside of the Commonwealth, so long as the active duty military member maintains the  Commonwealth as his legal residence to which he intends to return following completion of military service.

Disabled children over eighteen with an active duty or retired parent may be eligible for indefinite “Incapacitated Family Member” status providing them with a military ID Card, Tri Care health care coverage and other military benefits. The qualifying disability must be diagnosed before 21, or 23 if a full-time college student. While the military makes its own disability determinations, the process is similar to that for Medicaid and Social Security. This is a means tested program; the military sponsor must provide 50% of the Incapacitated Family Member’s support and demonstrate continuing financial eligibility every four years. (In some circumstances uncompensated caregiving provided by the family is included in the calculations for determining 50% of support.)

“Tips for Military Families” has provided only an elemental introduction to this subject. However, a wealth of resources are only a mouse click away. For help with an online investigation of what is available and how it can be accessed at



The Veteran Tickets Foundation gives out free event tickets to all kinds of things all across the country. Stuff like football, baseball, soccer, basketball, concerts, zoo passes, plays and more! You can sign up at When you do, and verify your service you will get an additional 12 VetTix Lottery Coins to start off with!


The National Autism Network has put together a free e-book titled “Raising a Child with Autism: Helpful Hints Every Parent Should Know” at It’s a collection of their top 10 articles including:
• Step by Step Guide to Obtaining the Information You Need
• Dealing with Problematic Behavior
• Tips for Successful Play Dates
• 8 Vital Questions to Ask When Interviewing Providers


Military Spouses Say Needs for Children with Autism Unmet (dated 5 February 2016) by Jennifer Miller from Pennsylvania State University at


The Military Career Resources on the new Exceptional Parent website at has a lot of info for active-duty and retired military families. Service members and their families are strongly encouraged to register online to obtain a free subscription to the magazine.


3-17 MARCH: EFMP workshops and support groups
For event registration, email or call 703-693-5353. Please register at least one day prior to event.

Mar 3 0930-1030 Sip & Share: Grab a coffee at Starbucks and meet us to chat at Fort Meade Post Exchange, Fort Meade, MD

Mar 4 0900-1000 Taking Care of Your Elderly Family Member at Pentagon, Lower Level, Conference Room B8, Arlington, VA

Mar 9 0900-1500 Marine & Family Programs Pentagon Outreach Table at Pentagon, 2nd Floor, Apex 1 & 2

Mar 10 1100-1300 Virginia Medicaid Waivers at Pentagon, Lower Level, Conference Room B5, Arlington, VA

Mar 12 1300-1500 EFMP Family Social at Warrior and Family Center (USO), 5940 9th Street, Fort Belvoir, VA

Mar 17 1100-1300 Accessing Community Resources at Henderson Hall, Bldg. 12, Conference Room, 1555 Southgate Road, Arlington, VA

19 MARCH: Adapted Sports, Recreation and Travel Fair for Individuals with Disabilities The Parents Of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia (POAC-NoVA), Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV), and a host of other support organizations for ALL individuals of ALL ages with ANY disability in coordination with the Fairfax County Therapeutic Recreation Services Department will be having the eleventh annual “Adapted Sports, Recreation and Travel Fair for Individuals with Disabilities” on Saturday, March 19th 2016 from 1 to 4pm in the James Lee Community Center, 2855-A Annandale Road, Falls Church, VA. Their phone number is 703 534-3387. Lots of families visited this fair last year. The Therapeutic Recreation Services Departments from Fairfax County and other areas will be participating, along with over 20 other agencies and teams from fifteen adapted sports and recreation categories. This fair is intended to provide information on adapted sports, recreation and travel opportunities for all individuals with disabilities living in Northern Virginia, including adapted summer programs and camps. We hope that you will able to drop by to get information on the wide assortment of adapted opportunities that are available for individuals with disabilities. As an additional bonus, we will have Freemasons from the Virginia Child Identification Program ( to put together comprehensive child identification and protection packets for ALL children, plus ALL adults with ANY disability. These kits are provided back to the parents and are not submitted to any law enforcement agency at that time. You can fill out their permission form ahead of time by going to

6 APRIL: Public Safety Considerations for Children with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities: Guidance for Families, Caregivers and Self-Advocates Alexandria City Public Schools workshop on Wednesday, April 6th from 7 to 9pm in the Media Center of the Minnie Howard Campus of T.C. Williams High School, 3801 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA. Speakers is Scott Campbell. This workshop will provide practical advice and offer strategies to parents of children with cognitive disabilities to help keep their children safe when dealing with public safety risks and emergency situations. The presenter is the former President of the Autism Society of Northern Virginia, a member of the Commonwealth of Virginia Public Safety Workgroup for Autism Awareness, and an Autism Safety and Awareness trainer of families and first responder personnel in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. To register, contact Janet Reese, ACPS Parent Support Specialist at, or Courtney Davis, Ph.D., ACPS Parent Resource Center Coordinator at or 703-824-0129 by March 30th.


Activities and workshops are open to all military connected families enrolled in EFMP or with children with special needs- active duty or retired all branches or service. You can register to attend any of the above listed events by  emailing the Quantico EFMP mailbox at or call by calling the Quantico EFMP office at 571-931-0524.


9 APRIL: The 5th annual Joint EFMP Resource Fair and Conference will be held at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling on Saturday, 23 April 2016. This is a free event for military families. For more information, please contact:

Myeshia Roach Army (703) 696-3510
Adrienne Barnett, Air Force (301) 981-7088
Davina Hardaway, Marines (703) 693-5353
Rhonda Creecy Coast Guard (202) 372-4088

USAF Exceptional Family Member Program and Special Needs Identification & Assignment Coordination
Daily Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm at Building 1100 (2nd floor, Room 259), Bolling Air Force Base, BC. POC is Ms. Ruth Jones at (202) 404-6551. The EMFP and SNIAC are two separate yet related functions working together to enhance the quality of life for Air Force Families. The programs support and identify active duty sponsors who have EFM’s with special educational or medical needs.


9 APRIL: FCPS 11th Annual Special Education Conference: Parents + Educators + Students will be held on Saturday, April 9th at Hayfield Secondary School, 7630 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, VA from 8am to 2:30pm. A map and directions are at The Exhibit Hall will be open from 10:30am to 12:45pm. The conference is FREE and open to parents, educators and community members.  The keynote presentation will be delivered by Dr. Jan Hasbrouck on Meeting the Needs of Struggling Readers in an Era of High Standards. FCPS staff, guest speakers (Dr. Lauren Kenworthy, Ann Dolin, Cathi Cohen, Dr. Erin Berman, and Dr. Kenneth Towbin), and others will present a variety of workshops for families and educators of students who have learning challenges, special needs, or receive special education services in Fairfax County Public Schools. Participants can choose from over 50 workshops and browse the Exhibit Hall with over 80 Exhibitors. Parents attending the conference can register their middle and high school-age students for a special strand of workshops for students. General and special education teachers who attend the entire conference can earn 5 recertification points! Download the flier at The conference program, list of workshops, and conference exhibit details are available online at or call 703-204-3941. Parents are encouraged to register early online at


4 MARCH: Autism Learning Seminar in Sandston, VA on Friday, March 4th from 6:30 to 9:30pm at Holiday Inn Richmond Airport, 445 International Center Drive, Sandston, VA 23150. Speakers are Dr. Dan Rossignol and Baylor Rice, Pharmacist. Evidence has accumulated that many children with autism have medical problems (“comorbidities”) that may contribute to their overall autism behaviors. This lecture will review common comorbidities and testing for these problems as well as treatments. Dr. Rossignol will focus on treatments that have stronger evidence in the medical literature and that have been shown to improve the core behavioral features of autism. These treatments will include nutritional supplements and certain medications. After this lecture, parents will have a better understanding of how to test for comorbidities their child may have and which treatments may be more likely to help their child.

Dr. Rossignol received his Doctorate of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Virginia. Coming from an academic background, Dr. Rossignol searched the medical literature looking for a solution after both of his children were diagnosed with autism. He has made it his mission to research and publish in autism. Since 2006, he has 53 papers, abstracts, editorials, and book chapters concerning autism and related conditions. Dr. Rossignol is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP) and a Fellow of the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (FMAPS). Baylor Rice, Pharmacist and owner of South River Compounding Pharmacy, will provide an overview of the most common supplements and biomedical interventions currently used in autism and related disorders as well as some promising recent discoveries. Baylor Rice has been a licensed pharmacist since 1994. After earning his degree at the Medical College of Virginia, Baylor worked in community pharmacies. In 1998, Baylor and his wife opened South River Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. His vision of treating each patient based on their individual needs and using a “team approach” by working together with the patient’s physician has proved to be quite successful with positive outcomes for the patients. Price: FREE! Child Care is not available. RSVP required. Please RSVP at

2 MARCH – 26 APRIL: Person Centered Thinking Regional Coaches Training March 2, March 16, March 29, April 13, and April 26, 2016 from 9am to 3pm each day at the Virginia Beach Developmental Services, Pembroke 6, Ste. 309, 297 Independence Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. Sponsored by Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services/ODS and the Partnership for People with Disabilities/VCU. Coffee and lunch are on your own. For questions, call Dawn Machonis at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at (804) 828-1335 or email at


Professionals who:
– first and foremost, want to be a coach,
– possess person centered knowledge and skills,
– use person centered tools,
– are in positions to informally teach those around them,
– advocate for and actively reinforce the use of person centered skills and tools, and
– are willing to commit to participating in and facilitating ongoing organization and regional coaches meetings.

Sessions cover:
– Why an organization should have PCT coaches
– Who should be a coach
– When and how one coaches
– Person Centered tool practice to achieve competence and confidence in their use
– The role coaches have in supporting organizational change •


Hampton Roads EFMP/Special Needs Families (Virginia) Facebook Group at

Virginia Military Families Special Needs Facebook Group at

Military Families with Special Needs (Worldwide) Facebook
Group at

Air Force Special Needs/EFMP Families (Worldwide) Facebook
group at

Source Exceptional Parent Magazine


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