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    BACH Shows Acceptance for Those with Autism

    Autism Acceptance Month

    Photo By Russell Tafuri | FORT CAMPBELL, KY -- Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program Specialists, at...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Blanchfield Army Community Hospital

    Living with a family member who is part of the Exceptional Family Member Program comes with many challenges. Autism is one of the many conditions qualifying a family member for EFMP, making home and work-life routines unique for everyone involved. Every case is different and presents a different set of challenges.

    According to a 2020 Center for Disease Control report, about one in 36 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. These children are diagnosed with either an intellectual disability or a developmental disability, commonly known as ASD. The Fort Campbell Warfighter community is no exception to these findings.

    “Research has taught us that there is no one single cause of autism. We are recognizing how genetics and environmental factors play into the etiology of autism,” says Dr. Heather Willis, Licensed Psychologist with BACH’s Child & Family Behavioral Health. With many misconceptions existing about autism, Willis shares how best to support someone with ASD.

    “It is important to support a person who is trying to express their emotions by listening to their body language, being patient, and helping them to use communication strategies.”

    What we once knew as “Autism Awareness Month” is now recognized as “Autism Acceptance Month,” celebrated in April. This shift in terminology is outlined well by the CDC’s promotion of the month. The CDC encourages communities to join them to raise awareness to promote autism acceptance, celebrate neurodiversity and individual differences, and continue to advance inclusion and connection throughout the community.

    According to the CDC, “It’s also a time to renew our commitment to honor the unique lived experiences of people with autism. Working together, we can support young families as well as children and youth with autism as they transition into adulthood, helping each individual reach their full potential.”

    The medical providers at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital conduct specific screenings for autism in children ages 18 and 24 months. However, the professional community at large participates in a CDC program known as Learn The Signs Act Early to help monitor children’s developmental growth through age 5. Individuals who have regular contact with the children, i.e., teachers, childcare workers, etc., can assist parents in monitoring healthy milestones and provide valuable resources during the growing years.

    A strong support system helps those diagnosed with autism find acceptance at school, work, and in the community.

    According to BACH Outreach Coordinator for Child and Behavioral Health Jayme Stadler, the Fort Campbell community, BACH providers in primary care medical homes, Child & Family Behavioral Health, developmental pediatrician, Educational and Developmental Intervention Services, and community support programs such as Army Community Service Exceptional Family Member Program do an excellent job evaluating, treating, supporting, connecting, and linking children on the spectrum to available resources.

    Additionally, Humana’s Autism Center of Excellence offers Autism System Navigators to assist families in developing and maintaining Comprehensive Care Plans and created a parent toolkit. Families can connect with Humana Military Resources via

    All installation out-processing for EFMP is completed via email through ACS EFMP. The ACS EFMP office is located at 79 Bastogne Avenue and can be reached at 270-798-2727. For installation out processing questions, email ACS EFMP at
    ALL EFMP services (EFMP enrollment, Update, Disenrollment, OCONUS Screening/FMTS, etc.) must be initiated through this link:

    For EFMP disenrollment requests or questions, please email the following address:

    Story contributed by Staff Sgt. John Howard



    Date Taken: 04.25.2024
    Date Posted: 04.25.2024 17:03
    Story ID: 469572

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