The Exceptional Advocate

A newsletter for military families with special needs

December 2016
Awareness Spotlight

Holidays and Children with Special Needs

Little boy helping parent bake.

The holidays can be a stressful time, and this is especially true for children with special needs when their routines are disrupted and they experience unfamiliar people and activities. Fortunately, planning ahead can help minimize the stress and make the holidays more enjoyable for you and your child.

(Learn to prepare.)

Recommended Resources

Organizational Records Help You Manage Care

SCOR's PDF cover photo.

Whether you’re caring for a child or an adult with special health needs, it’s important to have quick access to their personal and medical information. Military OneSource offers Special Care Organizational Records, free downloadable publications that track and organize this information, making it easy to use for you or someone caring for your family member.

(Get download.)

Help Family Members Meet Their Fitness Goals

Wounded warriors playing basketball.

Getting in shape, eating better and exercising regularly are all common goals we set for ourselves. People with special needs often share the same goals. Help your family members meet their health and fitness goals with resources to create an adaptive fitness and nutrition plan.

(Get started.)

10 Tips for Good Mental Health during the Holidays

Service member signing.

The holidays are supposed to be a time for fun, but for those caring for a family member with special needs, stress can sometimes derail us. Being realistic, planning ahead and seeking support can help keep you on track.

(See 10 tips.)

Service member receiving.

‘TSA Cares’ Eases Holiday Travel

Service member receiving.

If you plan to travel this holiday season, be aware that the Transportation Security Administration, which conducts airport security screenings, provides special assistance to people with disabilities or medical conditions. Call the TSA Cares Helpline, 855-787-2227, or visit its website.

For Service Providers
Military family

Upcoming Military Families Learning Network Webinars

Military family

The Military Families Learning Network encourages service providers to learn from each other. In December, the topics addressed include a TRICARE® Autism Care Demonstration and how to support families experiencing hard times. Sign up here.

Counselor helping service member with application.

Expanded TRICARE® Benefits

Counselor helping service member with application.

TRICARE expanded benefits for treating mental health and substance use disorders. As of Oct. 3, 2016, non-active duty dependent beneficiaries, retirees, their family members and survivors will generally pay lower co-payments and cost-shares for mental health care. Co-pays and cost-shares for inpatient mental health services will be the same as inpatient medical/surgical care.

Caregivers: Finding Holiday Peace

This Wounded Warriors program podcast can help all caregivers replace holiday stress with peace of mind.

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Did You Know

Did You Know

The White House recognizes November as National Family Caregivers Month and Military Family Month.

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Adult Care Guide

The Guide for Adults with Special Needs provides the information and resources you need to be an effective caregiver.

Test the Beta Website

We listened to your feedback and made changes to Take a look and tell us what you think.

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What You’re Saying

What You’re Saying

“I finally got Occupational therapy services and a waiver for 8 paid weeks of ABA through the resources you sent me. You're a life saver!”

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Special Needs Resource

The military’s specialty consultants help hundreds of parents each year navigate special education services.


Find programs and services at your local installation.

View a directory of installations

Service members, family members, surviving family members, service providers and leaders rely on Military OneSource for policy, procedures, timely articles, cutting-edge social media tools and support. All in one place, empowering our military community.