Recruit Diagnosed With Autism Returns Home Recruiter Removed From Duty
An Army recruit who had an autism diagnosis and anxiety medication prescription but was still sent to basic training, possibly against Army policy, has been returned home, while his recruiter has been removed from duty pending the final outcome of an investigation.
U.S. Army Recruiting Command confirmed that officials are conducting an investigation into whether the recruiter encouraged the recruit to conceal his autism diagnosis, which is considered high functioning, prior to arriving at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on Aug. 20.
The day after the original Army Times story was published, a letter was sent from Fort Jacksons reception battalion to Rep. Mike Simpson, R-ID, stating that the 19-year-old recruit, Garrison Horsley, was receiving an administrative separation.
Horsleys father confirmed that his son has been returned to their hometown in Idaho, but does not intend to conduct any further interviews.
Army applicants with autism spectrum disorders are automatically disqualified, per Defense Department accession policy, though sometimes medical enlistment waivers are granted after a visit to a DoD behavioral health consultant, according to Lisa Ferguson, the chief spokeswoman for the services recruiting command.
All waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis, but generally speaking, autism isnt something normally waived if the diagnosis was appropriately given, Ferguson previously told Army Times.
Skin And Cellular Tissues
The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:
a. Acne, severe or when extensive involvement of the neck, shoulders, chest, or back would be aggravated by or interfere with the wearing of military equipment, and would not be amenable to treatment. Patients under treatment with isotretinoin are medically unacceptable until eight weeks after completion of course of therapy.
b. Atopic dermatitis or eczema, with active or residual lesions in characteristic areas , or documented history thereof after the age of 8.
c. Contact dermatitis, especially involving rubber or other materials used in any type of required protective equipment.
Cysts, other than pilonidal, of such a size or location as to interfere with the normal wearing of military equipment.
Pilonidal cysts, if evidenced by the presence of a tumor mass or a discharging sinus. History of pilonidal cystectomy within six months before examination is disqualifying.
e. Dermatitis factitia.
f. Bullous dermatoses, such as Dermatitis Herpetiformis, pemphigus and epidermolysis bullosa.
g. Chronic Lymphedema.
h. Fungus infections, systemic or superficial types, if extensive and not amenable to treatment.
i. Furunculosis, extensive recurrent or chronic.
j. Hyperhidrosis of hands or feet, chronic or severe.
k. Ichthyosis, or other congenital or acquired anomalies of the skin such as nevi or vascular tumors that interfere with function or are exposed to constant irritation.
m. Leprosy, any type.
Physical Intellectual And Emotional Challenges
The teen years can be challenging for everyone they can be far more challenging, however, for young people with autismand their parents. As with most aspects of autism, the level of difficulty will vary radically depending on the individual on the spectrum, their family situation, their support system, and their school.
Fortunately, there are many ways parents can prepare for and ease the transition to teenagerhood. The teen years are also a great time to start preparing for adulthood.
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Can You Take Antidepressants In The Military
In the past, the military has disqualified just about any medication related to mental health.
However, the current policy is a little different.
It generally disqualifies anyone that is or has taken medication for mental illness in the last year.
If its been more than a year you may receive a waiver but the military will need to examine your medical records and speak to your physician.
The rules apply to medications like Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Wellbutrin.
However, that doesnt stop the military from reportedly prescribing antidepressants to a surprisingly high number of active-duty soldiers.
Its worth pointing out that some people advise not mentioning any previous mental health diagnoses or medications to a recruiter, as well as MEPS.
The decision is up to you, but some strongly believe that what isnt known doesnt hurt anyone.
However, the military has ways of finding out if the mental health condition is on your medical records.
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What Does The Exceptional Family Member Program Do For My Family
EFMP, a Service run program, serves service members within DoD who have children with special needs, including autism. EFMP is mandatory for all active duty service members who have family members with special needs, and enrollment is required immediately upon identification of a family members qualifying special need.
There are two primary functions of EFMP: a personnel function for administrative and management purposes and one that provides a range of family support.
Each military branch implements EFMP differently, and even some of the programs goals vary from branch to branch. However, the main goal is to ensure that family members with special medical or mental health needs are not sent to assignments where the MTF or facilities in the surrounding area cannot meet their medical needs. This is not to say that the service member will not be sent to such assignments, but the families should always be in a location that can meet their exceptional family members needs.
EFMP is not required to take into account area schools or the special education needs of families. This issue has continually been brought up by advocates across branches, as families are sent to areas where the schools that cannot support their childrens educational needs or behavioral issues resulting from their autism. Refer to the Education section for information on how to manage school transitions during PCS moves.
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The Israeli Army Unit That Recruits Teens With Autism
Many autistic soldiers who would otherwise be exempt from military service have found a place in Unit 9900, a selective intelligence squad where their heightened perceptual skills are an asset.
TEL AVIVFor eight hours a day, E., 21, sits in front of multiple computer screens, scanning high-resolution satellite images for suspicious objects or movements. As a decoder of Israels complex and often heavily civilian battlegrounds, hes been critical in preventing the loss of life of soldiers on the ground in several different situations, his officers say.
For many people, combing through each millimeter of the same location from various angles would be tedious workbut E., who is on the autism spectrum, describes the job as relaxing, like a hobby.
E. is a corporal in the Israel Defense Forces Visual Intelligence Division, otherwise known as Unit 9900, which counts dozens of Israelis on the autism spectrum among its members.
The relationship is a mutually beneficial one. For these young people, the unit is an opportunity to participate in a part of Israeli life that might otherwise be closed to them. And for the military, its an opportunity to harness the unique skill sets that often come with autism: extraordinary capacities for visual thinking and attention to detail, both of which lend themselves well to the highly specialized task of aerial analysis.
Differences With Social And Emotional Reciprocity
Autistic people with differences in social and emotional reciprocity may, for example, struggle to initiate or respond to communication, finding it difficult to participate in its typical back-and-forth nature. They may also face challenges in speaking about non-preferred topics.
People used to think it was an inability to empathize that lead to this. However, newer research has changed how we think about autism and empathy. It is almost the opposite, where autistic people may even be hyper empathetic.
It is just that their experiences and neurotypes are different. There is not a lack of empathy, simply another way of understanding and processing it. For example, autistic people may isolate themselves, but it is not because they prefer to be alone. Instead, it could be because they may feel they are annoying or causing trouble for others.
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General And Miscellaneous Conditions And Defects
The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:
a. Allergic manifestations. A reliable history of anaphylaxis to stinging insects. Reliable history of a moderate to severe reaction to common foods, spices or food additives.
b. Any acute pathological condition, including acute communicable diseases, until recovery has occurred without sequelae.
c. Chronic metallic poisoning with lead, arsenic or silver, or beryllium or manganese.
d. Cold injury, residuals of, such as: frostbite, chilblain, immersion foot, trench foot, deep-seated ache, paresthesia, hyperhidrosis, easily traumatized skin, cyanosis, amputation of any digit or ankylosis.
e. Cold urticaria and angioedema, hereditary angioedema.
f. Filariasis, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis, uncinariasis or other parasitic conditions, if symptomatic or carrier states.
g. Heat pyrexia, heatstroke or sunstroke. Documented evidence of a predisposition , recurrent episodes requiring medical attention or residual injury malignant hyperthermia.
h. Industrial solvent and other chemical intoxication.
i. Motion sickness. An authenticated history of frequent incapacitating motion sickness after the 12th birthday.
j. Mycotic infection of internal organs.
k. Organ transplant recipient.
l. Presence of human immunodeficiency virus or antibody. Presence is confirmed by repeatedly reactive enzyme-linked immunoassay serological test and positive immunoelectrophoresis test, or other DOD-approved confirmatory test.
Why The Military Should Consider A Waiver For High
Correction: An error was introduced during the editing process. The author serves in the New York State Guard an unpaid, all-volunteer force and not the National Guard. We regret the error.
Serving in the military is both an honor and a service to those who volunteer in this great country of the United States of America. However, many potential volunteers are disqualified for various reasons, thus the reason for my letter.
I am a 25-year-old man with a four-year college degree in history from Stony Brook University with high-functioning autism. I have been rejected by the Army three times outright just from disclosing my diagnosis. I was also rejected by the Marine Corps twice after disclosing my medical records. I was never given the opportunity to take the ASVAB, nor was I given an opportunity to appeal the decision.
This is a personal fight for me, but this is also a fight for other people with high-functioning autism. For far too long, our right to serve and fight has been denied on the grounds of our disorder we are so much more than that. I was even told by one of my recruiters to hide my diagnosis by not mentioning it. This is wrong. Like the ethnic minority and LGBT service members before us, we shouldnt have to hide who we are when serving.
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Personality Conduct And Behavior Disorders
The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:
a. Personality, conduct or behavior disorders as evidenced by frequent encounters with law enforcement agencies, antisocial attitudes or behavior, which, while not sufficient cause for administrative rejection, are tangible evidence of impaired capacity to adapt to military service.
b. Personality, conduct or behavior disorders where it is evident by history, interview or psychological testing that the degree of immaturity, instability, personality inadequacy, impulsiveness or dependency will seriously interfere with adjustment in the Army as demonstrated by repeated inability to maintain reasonable adjustment in school, with employers and fellow workers, and with other social groups.
c. Other behavior disorders including but not limited to conditions such as authenticated evidence of functional enuresis or encopresis, sleepwalking or eating disorders that are habitual or persistent occurring beyond age 12, or stammering of such a degree that the individual is normally unable to express themselves clearly or to repeat commands.
d. Specific academic skills defects, chronic history of academic skills or perceptual defects, secondary to organic or functional mental disorders that interfere with work or school after age 12. Current use of medication to improve or maintain academic skills.
e. Suicide, history of attempted or suicidal behavior.
The Process Of Requesting An Exemption
- Every initial draft notice will include the address of the recruitment office to which the draftee belongs. The following documents must be sent to this office:
- The draftee’s autism diagnosis
- A summary of the placement committee
- A letter detailing the exemption request with an attached in absentia process request and details including: full name of the draftee, identification number, parents information, telephone etc.
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Can You Get A Waiver For Adhd In The Military
A candidate with ADHD who meets the criteria outlined above needs a medical waiver to be able to enlist into any branch of the military. Medical waivers are initiated and requested by the specific military branch per DOD provisions that allow applicants who do not meet the physical and medical standards to be considered for a medical waiver.
Securing a medical waiver for ADHD, however, is a lengthy, multi-step, and largely imprecise process that carries no guarantees.
Well-documented information regarding the medical waiver process and criteria for each individual branch, for instance, is difficult to find. Whats more, recruiters for each military branch tend to be inconsistent in the information and advice provided to applicants with ADHD. Variations in candidates medical histories and enlistment paths, moreover, makes it nearly impossible to find one, uniform path for hopeful candidates with ADHD.
Army Launches Inquiry Into How Teen With Autism And Arm Disorders Was Recruited
The Army has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that led a 19-year-old on anxiety medication who was diagnosed with autism and congenital arm disorders to report for basic combat training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, this August.
The young mans father told Army Times that he has been trying to help return his son to their hometown in Idaho by reaching out to service officials and congressional representatives. After his son reported for basic training on Aug. 20, he began having anxiety attacks and was quickly separated from his basic training unit to be out-processed for not disclosing his myriad of diagnosed disorders.
Both the father and son say that his Army recruiter encouraged him to hide potentially disqualifying factors in order to enlist as a human resources specialist.
U.S. Army Recruiting Command has initiated an inquiry into this situation, and appropriate action will be taken when all facts are known, Lisa Ferguson, the chief spokeswoman for the services recruiting command, told Army Times.
Army applicants with autism spectrum disorders are automatically disqualified, per Defense Department accession policy, though sometimes medical enlistment waivers are granted after a visit to a DoD behavioral health consultant, according to Ferguson.
All waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis, but generally speaking, autism isnt something normally waived if the diagnosis was appropriately given, Ferguson said.
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Choosing The Right Job For People With Autism Or Asperger’s Syndrome
Temple Grandin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Jobs need to be chosen that make use of the strengths of people with autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Both high and low functioning people have very poor short-term working memory, but they often have a better long-term memory than most normal people. I have great difficulty with tasks that put high demands on short-term working memory. I cannot handle multiple tasks at the same time. Table 1 is a list of BAD jobs that I would have great difficulty doing. Table 2 is a list of easy jobs for a visual thinker like me. I have difficulty doing abstract math such as algebra and most of the jobs on Table 2 do not require complex math. Many of the visual thinking jobs would also be good for people with dyslexia.
Some job tips for people with autism or Asperger’s syndrome:
- Jobs should have a well-defined goal or endpoint.
- Sell your work, not your personality. Make a portfolio of your work.
- The boss must recognize your social limitations.
How Autism May Reduce Teen Stress
Yes, the teen years can be particularly rough for autistic youngsters. But for some on the autism spectrum, puberty can actually be less painful than it is for typical teens. That’s because many people with autism:
- Don’t judge themselves based on what the media presents or what others think of them
- Are not stressed by the need to prove themselves academically or physically
- Have more personal interests and hobbies that they can pursue with or without same-age peers
- Are able to quickly learn new routines
Of course, not every person with autism fits the same mold, but for some teens, the lack of self-judgment or hyper-awareness of others’ opinions can be a great plus.
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Adhd Medication Rules Are Unreasonable
The military should relax its enlistment standards, but much more needs to be done beyond that, including reforming overly restrictive policies regarding ADHD medication. While few cases are known of people with ADHD who are able to take medication while serving, for the most part, an applicant with ADHD is not able to take medication immediately prior to enlisting and while on active duty.
Realistically, and perhaps in alignment with the militarys reasoning if a person with ADHD cannot function well and be productive without medication, then they are probably not a good fit for the military. You dont want to be in a combat environment, for example, and run out of medication.
But an individual with ADHD who is being treated with medication is not necessarily too ADHD to be an effective soldier. Again, it all depends on the individual. A good argument can be made that taking the appropriate medication will make a soldier who is already capable into one who is even more capable.
The main benefits of drug therapy for adults with ADHD are significant improvements in attention, concentration, and mental alertness, along with a significant decrease in physical restlessness and impulsivity. Common results from taking the proper ADHD medication are significant increases in efficiency and productivity.