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Military homecoming, navy servicewoman with family

Military families face challenges when navigating the demands of military life, however when military families include children with disabilities the challenges are more unique and often more challenging.

On average children in military families switch schools six to nine times between Kindergarten and 12th grade1. Although all children in military families face the struggles of losing friends, familiar surroundings and their routines, the impact can by more detrimental on children with special needs.

In a study conducted by Jessica Carol Jagger and Suzanne Lederer, entitled “Impact of Geographic Mobility on Military Children’s Access to Special Education Services,” military parents of children with special needs were surveyed to describe the relationships between schools following placement.

The following difficulties were encountered with disabilities related to permanent change of station (PCS) and local public schools.

  • Parents feel they must battle school systems.
  • Different state/local educational authorities’ approaches to achieving educational goals lead to parent concerns about quality of services.
  • Uncertainty about place of residence limits proactive planning and precludes warm handoff.
  • Gaining schools are not prepared for student arrival when records were sent in advances.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 non-compliance or inaccessibility.

To find out more difficulties as well as resources and recommendations for military families with special needs children, read the study “Impact of Geography Mobility on Military Children’s Access to Special Education Services.”

Resources Cited:

  1. Jagger, J.C., & Lederer, S. (2014, January). Impact of Geographic Mobility on Military Children’s Access to Special Education Services. Children & Schools, 36(1). Doi:10.1093/cs/cdt046


This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on August 05, 2016.