SOURCE: ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!)

ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!)

September 08, 2010 09:15 ET

Fighting for the Families Who Fight for Us: First Ever National Campaign Benefiting Military Families Impacted by Autism Launches

Campaign Kicks Off With PSA Featuring "Criminal Minds" Veteran Actor, Joe Mantegna

TARZANA, CA--(Marketwire - September 8, 2010) -  A crisis faces our military families, today. 1 in 88 military children have autism and less than 10 percent are receiving recommended care and treatments. This is why ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing grant money for families that cannot afford or access the treatments needed for their autistic children, is launching the first ever national campaign titled, "ACT Today! for Military Families." Executive Director of ACT Today!, Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, states, "The military healthcare system limits coverage of vital treatments, and provides less than half of the therapy recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Research Council. ACT Today! for Military Families will bridge the gap for military families until policy can be addressed. It is our goal to raise one million dollars to help fund treatment for these special children."

The campaign kicks off with the airing of a PSA on the Fox Television Networks featuring the star of "Criminal Minds," veteran actor Joe Mantegna. Mantegna, who has a daughter with autism, states, "Having a child with autism, I know how difficult it can be for people less fortunate than I to obtain proper treatment for their special needs children. I especially appreciate the unique challenges our military faces in battling on two fronts -- one for their country, and another for their families." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQEkGYJQjw.

Numerous events are planned throughout the country to promote the campaign. There will be a family festival and a 5K/10K run in San Diego, CA on April 2, 2011.

The Facts:

  • The military healthcare system funding is limited to approximately 11 hours of treatment a week. A minimum of 25 hours a week is recommended.
  • 25 Hours/week treatment program costs roughly $6,500/month. A Sergeant's salary averages about $2,700/ month.

Alspaugh-Jackson says, "The math doesn't work. The system doesn't work. No family should be stuck in this position, let alone the families of service members who fight and die for us."

Marine Corps wife Karen Driscoll, mother of a child with autism and Campaign Director of ACT Today! for Military Families, recently met with First Lady Michelle Obama to discuss this dire situation. "Every day we delay care, we relegate more military children with autism to a life with fewer options or opportunities. I believe we have a duty as mothers, fathers, leaders, lawmakers, and citizens to care for our military families and provide access to the care and support they require. It is simply the right thing to do."

To learn more about ACT Today for Military Families, visit www.acttodayformilitaryfamilies.org

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Helaine Ross Public Relations
    310-246-1872
    Email Contact