There are many resources to help military families with special needs. But where do you start? Here are some top resources, services and programs.
A first step is to know what resources and services are available. Then you can learn how to access them. The Exceptional Family Member Program can help you with this. You can find the nearest EFMP installation office and get assistance with:
Identifying and enrolling your family member.
Learning what services are available at your present or new duty station.
Getting support with information, referrals and non-clinical case management to access services.
Here is the newest tool that helps families find information tailored to their situation….
The Department of Defense Office of Special Needs created this new online tool, EFMP & Me, to help you find the resources and information you need, when you need it. Its goal is to make life less stressful for your military family with special needs. EFMP & Me gives you a 24/7 connection to personalized, up-to-date information and resources. You can learn how to enroll in EFMP and prepare for a PCS or deployment. You can learn to manage changes in education or medical needs and adjust to new life situations. EFMP & Me is here to provide assistance as you become your own best advocate. Get started today with EFMP & Me.
Check out these available directories, toolkits and resources:
Department of Defense Guide for Adults with Special Needs
Military OneSource provides access to special needs consultants familiar with military life. A consultant can work with you to assess your family’s needs. They can also answer your questions about education, finances, support groups and more. Ask them about the following:
A needs assessment and local resources and services.
Information about specialized doctors, medical equipment resources and medical benefits.
Early intervention, special education and options after graduation.
Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or live chat any time to schedule a specialty consultation. You can meet by phone or video.
Knowing that your child with special needs has a great start in life is important to you and your family.
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education, offers the Parent Center Hub. This is also known as the Center for Parent Information and Resources. They provide collections of links for infants, toddlers and school-age children:
Resources for Early Intervention Services for infants and toddlers. Early intervention services can help children with disabilities or delays. Services help children learn many key skills and catch up in their development.
Resources for school-age children with special needs. Find webinars, articles and other resources for families connecting you with K-12 topics such as free, virtual summer camps and back-to-school planning. Learn more about individualized education plans, classroom accommodations, parent involvement, effective practices and much more.
States also have Parent Training and Information Centers to help you with special needs, early intervention and school services. They also help with therapy, local policies and Community Parent Resource Centers. An interactive map links you with the centers near you.
Get support in your community from other families. Learn from firsthand experience navigating the health care maze. Family-to-Family Health Information Centers in each state are staffed by health care professionals and family members of people with special health care needs. These nonprofit centers can help you:
Learn about eligibility for programs.
Write a health care plan for teachers and therapists.
Locate resources to pay for medications.
Find support groups and more.
Some children may require more than routine or basic care, such as children with, or at-risk of disabilities or with chronic illnesses. Also, children with physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions. Military child care programs work with parents and guardians to make reasonable accommodations, which consider the needs of the child and the child care environment. They also consider staffing and training requirements, and the resources available to the program.
MilitaryChildCare.com is a Department of Defense website that can help you find and request military-operated or military-subsidized child care. It can help you find care anywhere in the world. Work directly with your local program to determine reasonable accommodations for your child. You will use a process that includes an Inclusion Action Team. You are a member of the IAT for your child and are included in the decision-making process. Programs welcome the opportunity to discuss your family’s needs throughout your search process. Contact your local program for more information about the IAT. You can also learn about the evaluation process for reasonable accommodations.
If child care is not available on your installation, you may be eligible to receive fee assistance. To find out if you are eligible, contact Child Care Aware of America to learn more about Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood, or MCCYN.