Sign up for the Spouse & Family Newsletter

Related Spouse Articles

Most Popular Education Articles

Military Life 101

  • job fair
    Military Spouse Employment 101
    While the military will always throw a monkey wrench in any best-laid plans, your career doesn't have to be one of them.
  • (Photo: U.S. Department of Education)
    Military Spouse Education Help 101
    Good news for you: Being a military spouse can actually make some parts of going back to school easier.
  • (Photo: U.S. Navy)
    Military Life 101
    Military life has a lot of nuts and bolts. You know, the little things that make up just an ordinary day.
  • stack of one dollar bills
    Military Spouse and Family Benefits 101
    Don't know exactly how to get your military spouse and family benefits or want to know more about what they are? Read on.
  • Movers at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, load up a truck with household goods. Jose Ramirez/Air Force
    Military Spouse and Family Moves 101
    Whether you're an old pro or new to the military moving game, there's stuff to learn about PCSing. Here's our easy PCS 101 guide.
  • (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie)
    Military Family Deployment 101
    Preparing for deployment can seem like an uphill battle. But we've been there. Here's what you need to know.
  • Military family
    Military Family Life 101
    Military life is not easy, but we've got your back. From marriage to kids and parenting, we have the resources you need.

DoD Special Needs Toolkit

The Department of Defense (DoD) Special Needs Parent Tool Kit contains 110 pages of comprehensive information and tools geared towards helping military families with special needs children navigate the maze of medical and special education services, community support and benefits and entitlements. Each module contains valuable resources and important facts; record keeping tools and sample letters have also been incorporated. The Tool Kit is divided into six colorful modules that can be easily downloaded and printed or saved on to a CD.

The Tool Kit content was developed and reviewed by the military Services Exceptional Family Member Program Managers, TRICARE, DoD Education Activity and Specialized Training of Military Parents (STOMP) Project. However, the most valuable contributions came directly from advocates and military families with special needs children.

Whether you need to learn about early intervention services or want to learn how to be a more effective advocate for your child, you will find the information in the DoD Special Needs Parent Tool Kit modules:

Module 1: Birth to Age Three - Learn about valuable resources, early intervention services and how to cope with the range of emotions that are common when you discover your child has a disability.

Module 2: Special Education - Navigating the special education system can be particularly challenging. This module explains special education referrals and evaluations, the Individualized Education Program (IEP), placement options, annual and triennial reviews, parent rights and more...

Module 3: Health Benefits - Learn about TRICARE options and the pharmacy benefit, the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO), case management, professionals who can help answer your TRICARE questions, and Federal and State programs with benefits for special needs families.

Module 4: Families in Transition - Do you have questions about relocating with a special needs child and traveling or housing concerns? Want to learn more about spouse employment, deployment support, disaster preparedness and transitioning into adulthood? The Families in Transition module is jam-packed with beneficial information designed to answer all your transitioning questions.

Module 5: Advocating for Your Child - Other parents will tell you that advocating for a child with a chronic disability is a lifelong responsibility. The Tool Kit provides guidance on how to communicate effectively with professionals, address disagreements at an IEP meeting, and how to obtain Supplemental Security and Medicaid benefits.

Module 6: Resources and Support - This module describes and links you to websites for Federal, State and local community and military resources, and resources for families with seriously ill or hospitalized children. This module helps you find internet-based methods to connect with other military families with special needs throughout the world.

Module 7: Records and Other Tools - Being the primary care provider for a child with special needs requires planning, lots of organizing expertise and strong letter writing skills! This module provides you with sample letters, and a phone log to track conversations with professionals.

Download the Department of Defense (DoD) Special Needs Parent Tool Kit.

Military News App by

Download the new News App for Android on Google Play or for Apple devices on iTunes!