As our nation commemorates Veterans Day, honoring and remembering those who have served and sacrificed, it is an appropriate time to consider the financial, medical, and other assistance available to veterans, their families and survivors. Veterans Benefits are administered at the federal level by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which is the second largest cabinet-level department and has a yearly budget of over $300 billion.
The full range of VA benefits extends to housing and home loan guarantees, job training, small business loans, burials, memorials, and education. There is now new recognition for children and adults on the autism spectrum. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention ((CDC), one in every 44 children may be diagnosed with autism. Added to established ‘military benefits’, armed services recruiters are now looking for bright, industrious recruits, and applicants with Asperger’s. This population often proves to fit the bill of specialized services, with their high IQ.
For instance, Rubin (2016) Staff Writer for Atlantic magazine describes a selective intelligence squad formed by the Israeli Army. Many autistic soldiers who would otherwise be exempt from military service have found a place in Unit 9900.
She says that a 21-year-old recruit with autism enjoys spending long hours combing through each millimeter of satellite images of the same location from various angles. And, that that most persons with autism can outperform in auditory tasks (such as discriminating sound pitches), detecting visual structures, and mentally manipulating complex three-dimensional shapes.
< My Thoughts > “…millimeter of satellite images…”
After becoming highly trained by the military, it seems likely that these skills would easily transfer to a variety of hard-to-fill civilian jobs. Air traffic controller comes to mind!
Rob V. (2020) recruitment is determined on a case-by-case basis; if the recruiter realizes that you have something to offer the nation. Like most things in the military, it depends on the military branch and the level of autism. In addition, you must not be under any medications for at least one year before submitting your application.
Mander (2022) makes us aware that there are many government programs to help military veterans' children with special needs — the trick is to find them.
Thank you for your service, Veterans. And, persons with autism, desiring a military career..."Show them what you've got!"
Mander, L. (2022). Assistance Is Available for Veterans’ Children with Disabilities; Retrieved online from – https://specialneedsanswers.com/assistance-is-available-for-veterans-children-with-disabilities-18827t
Rubin, S. (2016). The Israeli Army Unit that Recruits Teens with Autism: Retrieved online from – https://www.theatlantic.com › health › archive › 2016/01
V. Rob (2020). Can You Join the Military with Autism? By Rob V.; founder of Operation Military Kids.org. Retrieved online from –