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                                 February 2023 News Blast

“Retirees to Get a Second Chance to Enroll In or Opt Out of the Survivor Benefit Plan”


"Study: Even With Fivefold Increase, Autism Likely Undercounted”

dated 26 January 2023 by Shaun Heasley from Disability Scoop at

“Parents Seek Special Ed Services Lost To COVID”                            

dated 25 January 2023 by Linda Jacobson from The 74 at

 “Can Limiting Screen Time Improve Autism Symptoms?”                       

dated 24 January 2023 by Shaun Heasley from Disability Scoop at

 “Ed Department Sees Sharp Rise In Disability Discrimination Complaints In Schools”

dated 23 January 2023 by Michelle Diament from Disability Scoop at

 "Soldier For Life" Podcast on “Special Needs Awareness: Tips to Know”

by COL David Grant and Scott Campbell at

“Raising an Autistic Child as Active Duty Military with Rich Davis” from Moms Autism Money at


Your Guide:

Providing helpful tools and tips to integrate a child with autism into their new home is at


For more info on far more events for individuals with autism or similar disabilities in Northern Virginia, please join the ASNV email list serv at or the POAC-nova email list serv at  Both these email list servs are FREE!  


See the Organization for Autism Research website at for a free “Life Journey through Autism: A Guide for Military Families”. The guide includes information about services, resources, & support available to active-duty and retired military families. 


I am often asked for a place to get a state-versus-state comparison for adults with a disability.   The best location that I know of is the updated UCP website for 2020 at  However, families should use this website in conjunction with other sources of research such as local Autism Societies, Arc Chapters, Centers for Independent Living, and a state’s developmental disabilities organization (like the Virginia DBHDS) where they can find information on the state’s waiver programs.  Using several sources provides a better overall picture of states’ services.  Also, services can differ significantly from locality to locality and county to county in some states.  In addition, while some states provide better independent living services, they may be lacking in special education services and vice-versa.  Good luck!


What to do when your child turns 18.  A response by Scott Campbell for families in Virginia.  I recently added a couple of sample letters to DFAS.  My son has turned 21, so I have lived and dealt with most of the issues and processes on the list.  If I missed anything as you go through this trying time with your loved one with a disability, please let me know.


I have the DOD Policy letter, dated 31 Dec 15 on "Enabling Payment of Survivor Benefit Plan Annuities to a Special Needs Trust (SNT)" and a copy of the "Template for Special Needs Trust Certification" that you will need to get filled out by the attorney or agency who wrote the Special Needs Trust for your child.  If you would like a copy of these documents, please send me an email at  The Special Needs Trust Certification, a copy of the whole SNT, and a cover letter is mailed to Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), U.S. Military Retired Pay, 8899 E 56th Street, Indianapolis IN 46249-1200.  The letter must list their relationship to the beneficiary (the child), state their decision to make direct payment to an existing SNT, and include the beneficiary's SSN.  If you have questions about where to send it or anything else, call DFAS at 800 321-1080.  More DFAS info on this option can be found at  If you have questions about any of this, please call me 703 969-6730.  Good luck!



Military Calendar of Events:

7 February- ASNV's Military Families support group virtual meeting on Tuesday, February 7th from 7 to 8 pm.  Join us as we host a support group for all active-duty, reserve, and retired military families! This group is not just for parents of autistic children, but parents of ALL disabled dependents. Topics will include: what to do before your child reaches age to navigate an IEP meeting, TRICARE before and after you to adjust your military benefits for your child, Special Needs Trusts and your SBP and SGLI, and the list goes on. Email for details and to get on the mailing list!  Join other military families virtually at


The Autism Society of Northern Virginia web link specifically for active-duty and retired military families is at  Please visit for a whole lot of possible resources.



Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia EFMP upcoming events or other ones in their area: None at this time.



Fort Belvoir, Virginia EFMP upcoming events or other ones in their area:


11 February- National Museum of the United States Army “At Ease low sensory afternoon” at the Museum on Saturday, February 11th from 4 to 6pm for visitors Autism/Cognitive Disabilities /PTSD/TBIs. This free public program is for visitors to enjoy late afternoon access to the Museum with additional modifications to  provide a more sensory-friendly environment. Anxiety coping devices will be available at the Welcome Desk. Service dogs and miniature ponies are allowed during this program as well as during normal operating hours. A hands-on  special educational program and docent led tours will be available.  Please reserve your tickets at


Exceptional Family Member Program Contact for more information is Marlo Keller at or 571-231-7020.



Marine Corp Base, Quantico, Virginia EFMP upcoming events or other ones in their area:   None at this time


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 by calling the Quantico EFMP office at 571-931-0524. 



Naval Support Activity- Bethesda, Maryland & NSA-Washington EFMP upcoming events or other ones in their area:


23 February- Naval Support Activity- Bethesda, Maryland & NSA-Washington EFMP workshop on “Special Education Resource: Get to Know Your Parent Training Information Center” on Thursday, February 23rd from noon to 1pm. Wondering where in the community I can get special education information and support, then this workshop is for you! Maryland and Virginia’s Parent Training Information Center military outreach specialist/ coordinator will be presenting on the services they provide and how they work closely with military families.  To register, call Bethesda Military Family Support Center at 301 319-4087 or email at:


For more info, contact Walkidia “Walky” Fradera, EFMP Case Liaison, Naval Support Activity Bethesda, Military and Family Support Center (Fleet and Family Support Center) at 301 319-4406 or



Fort George G. Meade, Maryland EFMP upcoming events or other ones in their area:   None at this time


For more info, contact Meritta Dawson, Soldier and Family Assistance Program Manager, 4550 Parade Field Lane Room Ste 241 A at 301-677-7060 (Office), 443-683-0282 (Cell), Toll Free 877-220-2522, or at



Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, DC EFMP upcoming events or other ones in their area:   None at this time


USAF Exceptional Family Member Program and Special Needs Identification & Assignment Coordination, daily Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm at MFSC/JBAB Bldg. 13, 118 Brookley Ave, SW, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, DC 20032. Call this number for more information or to register at 202-767-0450. 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. 



Joint Base Andrews, Maryland EFMP upcoming events or other ones in their area:   None at this time


 Joint Base Andrews For more info, contact Adreinne Barnett, M.Ed, EFMP Family Support Coordinator for Joint Base Andrews at 301 981-7088/7087 or



Langley Air Force Base, Virginia EFMP upcoming events or other ones in their area:  None at this time.



1. 'Hampton Roads (VA) EFMP Special Needs Families (Retired/Active) est. 2005' Facebook Group at  

2. 'Virginia Military Special Needs Family Support' Facebook Group at

3. 'Military Special Needs Family Support (Worldwide)' Facebook Group at

4. 'USAF EFMP Family Support' Facebook group at  

5.  Disability Community of Hampton Roads - Virginia Facebook Page at  Sharing events and information for all cities of Hampton Roads for all disabilities and all ages.

6.  TACA Autism Virginia at



Virginia Autism Foundation contact info at or



Virginia Autism Project's Facebook group page at



The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center’s (PEATC) mission is to empower families as they navigate special education and state disability service systems throughout Virginia. PEATC offers free workshops and trainings for service members who have children with disabilities, their spouses, and the professionals who support them. There are 33 military installations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and all military branches are served by the PEATC Military Outreach program.  Please visit PEATC’s website at to discover a wealth of resources and factsheets, download our Military Digital Portfolio, as well as register for workshops and events, and sign up to receive our newsletter.  Also, please visit and like our PEATC Military Outreach page at



Partners in PROMISE at and  Partners in PROMISE (PIP) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that serves as a representative voice for our Exceptional Military Family Members (EFMP). PIP was founded in January 2020 by four mothers to Protect the Rights Of Military children In Special Education (PROMISE). Focusing on a strategy of educating, advising and advocacy, Partners in PROMISE is the link between special needs families, established military service organizations, the Department of Defense, and legislators, working towards collaborative solutions to complex problems.

Please Contact us at:

10467 White Granite Dr. #324

Oakton, VA 22124

Office: 571-328-5792

Mobile: 703-402-3108

We are located in the ServiceSource Building in Oakton, Virginia, just off of Highway 66. Please click on the map for more details.

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