Eliminate U​.​S. Selective Service registration requirement for those diagnosed with Autism

Eliminate U​.​S. Selective Service registration requirement for those diagnosed with Autism

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Marcus Claiborne started this petition to "AustismSpeaks.org" and

The U.S. Selective Service Act should be amended so as to not require those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or other specified mental or physical disabilities to register and be subject to involuntary military service.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of 2016, about 1 in 54 children were identified as having Autism Spectrum Disorder. 1 in 34 boys were identified with autism. There are many strong arguments to be made against SSS registration and consideration for these individuals. At the most basic level, considering all that these individuals have to contend with on a daily basis as it is, the added burden of knowing that they are under consideration for involuntary military service in hostile situations and environments is not at all helpful to their mental health and development. Additionally, there are various other associated conditions that impact this individual's suitability for military service - including but not limited to, anxiety disorders, ADHD, schizophrenia, and depression.

According to Autism Speaks "Nearly half of those with autism wander or bolt from safety", Also, "an estimated 40 percent of people with autism are nonverbal." As a military veteran who has operated in extremely dangerous scenarios, I understand all too well that the military environment demands high levels of safety in the performance of one's duties in carrying out the mission - to protect oneself and others. It is even more-so during armed conflict, which of course a draft (facilitated by a selective service registration) applies.

Our elected officials in the U.S. Congress can move to modernize this Act, in order to meet the needs of our society given that we know so much more these days in the medical sense than we did when the act was written. To not do so places autistic individuals in danger, as well as fellow service members they would serve alongside should they be drafted. Let's not leave it up to individuals within a bureaucratic system to "weed them out" AFTER they mandatorily register in hopes that they do not "fall through the cracks". Let's instead EXEMPT them from registration to begin with. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars to require them to do so. Furthermore, let's extend the human dignity they deserve as they work to navigate the various challenges they face daily in their lives.

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