Ready and Resilient
Taking the stress out of moving with an Exceptional Family Member – Part II
By Anna Maria Vestal
Moving to a new location is always an adventure. It can bring about the most amazing rewards and the most intense stress sometimes all at the same time. Moving with a Special Needs Family Member adds an additional dimension to the moving experience. So many tasks to get done.
Last week, in part one of this article, you learned about making a checklist to organize your tasks so that they all get accomplished and your move can be a smoother one.
In this part we will address what to do when you get to your new duty station.
When you arrive at the new duty station, first and foremost visit the EFMP manager at the local Army Community Service. The EFMP manager can inform you of their services as well as the services of other organizations on and off the installation. Just as important, if your child is school age, contact the local School Liaison Officer to find out the support provided through that office. At the same time you can find out about the recreational opportunities available to your children through Child, Youth and School Services.
Next, go to the school that your child(ren) will be attending and turn in all educational records as well as any testing that was done and any available Individual Education Plans. Make an appointment with the special education staff and, if possible, visit the classroom where your child has been assigned. Ask as many questions as you need to ask to make sure you understand the educational requirement of your new school.
Then stop by the local medical facility to turn in the medical records. Be sure to make an appointment with the EFMP Medical Liaison or medical EFMP office to find out if there are any additional requirements that need to be met.
Finally, get involved in local EFMP activities and groups. Remember YOU are the most important part of EFMP. Your participation is often the catalyst in an EFMP Program being marginal or top notch. Make sure that YOUR EFMP program is the best that it can be by getting personally involved in the process.
For additional information contact Anna Maria Vestal, EFMP manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.