SEARCH: Qualified to Serve

Qualified to Serve
by Lillian Csernica

AutismMy grandfather, uncles, and father served in the U.S. Navy. I asked my son John if he wanted to join the military. Although, he doesn’t like guns or barracks life, he does believe people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder shouldn’t categorically be denied the opportunity.

However, if he had been interested, he would not have qualified. Any diagnosis of ASD disqualifies you for appointment, enlistment, or induction into the United States Armed Forces. Like most neurotypical people, the military mistakenly believe people with ASD all have identical symptoms. Military.com provides these specifics:

CANNOT JOIN IF YOU HAVE

  • Permanent motor or sensory deficits.
  • Care by a physician or other mental health professional for more than 6 months.
  • Symptoms or behavior of a repeated nature that impaired social, school, or work efficiency.
  • 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.

When it comes to determining fitness for service in the armed forces, the data available now shows .… Continue reading in the Winter 2018 issue of SEARCH magazine.

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