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Video Text Alternative: Military Children, Health, and Research: Interview with Mr. Jeremy Hilton, Air Force Spouse and Parent

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Family Issues of Military Connected Children with Special Needs

Extended Interview with Jeremy Hilton, 2012 Military Spouse of the Year

April 14-15 | Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
Mr. Jeremy Hilton: My name is Jeremy Hilton.
Camera view of Mr. Jeremy Hilton. Mr. Hilton: I’m a military parent of a child with a disability.
(Edit/camera cut) Mr. Hilton on camera. Mr. Hilton: My mission and goal for my family as we go through this military life is to both support my wife and her career, and both of our kids, but particularly our daughter, who has a disability.
(Edit/camera cut) Mr. Hilton on camera. Mr. Hilton: My thoughts on outreach and future research for this topic primarily relate to the idea that my daughter’s 11, and we want to see her succeed in the future. And so we need short-term action on some things, but we also need to make sure that there’s long-term research that can be done that NIH is so good at so that when she’s an adult, the policies and procedures are in place.
(Edit/camera cut) Mr. Hilton on camera. Mr. Hilton: My daughter was born in Bethesda—in fact, just across the street from NIH—in 2002, and it’s been amazing to me to see the support we’ve received from so many in the military community, but also from the civilian community, and how important that is for our military families.
(Edit/camera cut) Mr. Hilton on camera. Mr. Hilton: I would tell other military parents, or even civilian parents, that when you’re trying to find information, probably one of the best places to go is to other family—or other families who have had a similar experience as you. They’ve been in your shoes, they know the resources that exist, and they can probably get you down that path the fastest.
(Edit/camera cut) Mr. Hilton on camera. Mr. Hilton: My advice to parents, particularly those who might be newly diagnosed with a disability, is to have hope, is to think about this amazing child you have and think about the fact that everything, while not perfect, it might be—it’s going to be okay. And be optimistic about that child’s future.
(Edit/camera cut) Mr. Hilton on camera. Mr. Hilton: My advice for clinicians is this: Listen to parents. Many times, especially with a military family, that family is transitioning into a new civilian neighborhood, or a new area, a new base. They live with that child. They’re both the child’s advocate, but your best resource for getting a full history about that child, and they’re there to help you, the clinician, do your job better.
(Edit/camera cut) Mr. Hilton on camera. Mr. Hilton: The advice I would give to members of the community, particularly for our military families who are impacted by a chronic condition or a disability is, find ways to help. Reach out to your neighbors who might have just gotten home from the NICU. Reach out to the military family whose husband’s deployed, and that mom is dealing with a really tough situation. Whatever the child’s disability is, the very smallest things you can do make an enormous impact for that family.
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Family Issues of Military Connected Children with Special Needs

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April 14-15 | Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
 
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