Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent
Michelle Routhier, stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, has been married to her soldier for eight years. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to travel the world. In eight years and five military bases, Michelle has lived in Florida, the United Kingdom, Alabama, and now Alaska. Living in the UK and Alaska has allowed Michelle to see places that she never would have seen otherwise.
Looking back, if Michelle could give herself one piece of advice before becoming a military spouse, it would be to “keep an open mind”. Michelle says, “Life hasn’t gone the way I planned it at all, but the journey has been wonderful. I have ended up becoming best friends with people I did not like at first meeting and I have ended up loving assignments I never thought I would.”
Michelle advocates for military families with special needs because of her two beautiful boys, who both have special needs. Liam, 4 year old, had to be resuscitated at birth after they thought he was a stillborn. He has PDD-NOS (which is on the Autism Spectrum), anxiety disorder, sensory issues, and is highly gifted. Ben, 3 year old, has a midline birth defect (Aplasia Cutis) and spent his first two years struggling with severe GERD and failure to thrive. He has developmental delays in several areas, as well as sensory issues.
Michelle’s life is a blur of special education, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, ABA, and counseling appointments. Being in the military adds several challenges not faced by non-military special needs families due to the constant PCSing and frequent TDYs.
The Military Special Needs Network honors and salutes Michelle Routheir as the Military Spouse of the Day! We thank you for being such a wonderful military spouse and an amazing advocate for special needs!
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