|Karen Driscoll and husband Colonel Jerome Driscoll, USMC|
ACT Today! for Military Families (ATMF) Founding Member Karen Driscoll will receive a 2011 Achievement Award from the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC), for her "untiring efforts in support of military families with autistic children." The prestigious award will be presented on December 5 at the annual SDMAC award breakfast at the Naval Mine and ASW Warfare Complex in San Diego. It is attended by San Diego organizations and corporations that serve the military and their families.
Driscoll is a Marine wife and mother of 3 (one with autism). She is married to Colonel Jerome Driscoll, USMC. “Military families shoulder tremendous responsibilities today. These challenges are compounded for military families with a special needs child. SDMAC is a great advocate for military families in the San Diego community. This is a tremendous honor, and I appreciate their enduring support for our special kids.”
Finding appropriate treatment and supports for their son with autism has come at a high cost both emotionally and financially for the Driscoll family. Understanding these challenges are more difficult for younger and enlisted Marines, Karen has advocated for TRICARE policy and family support program improvements to better the lives of all military children with special needs. Driscoll has worked with military families across the country, lawmakers on Capitol Hill, senior military leadership, and national policy and advocacy organizations to bring about positive legislative and family support improvements. She has been recognized by the Marine Corps League (Dickey Chapelle Award), National Military Families Association (Very Important Patriot Award), and the Organization for Autism Research (Jae Davis Award) for her advocacy and focus to improve the lives of military families with disabilities.
Driscoll’s passion to help military children has led her to ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving access to autism services by providing financial assistance to families that cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with autism treatments and other quality of life supports.
Driscoll was instrumental in launching ATMF, a dedicated fund for military children, and now serves as a volunteer to the organization. The goal of the ATMF fund is to improve awareness of the unique needs of the military family living with autism and access to urgently needed treatments and support services. In its first year of operation, ATMF has provided assistance to over 120 military connected families through its family grant program. Grants funded included assistance with applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, medical services, iPads and communication devices, safety equipment, service dogs, legal services, therapy equipment, assessments, and other quality of life supports.