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Concern about hearing impaired son transitioning to Webelos and Boy Scouts

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  • #16
    Originally posted by GeorgiaMom View Post
    The Scout leaders have been understanding. They know to gently touch him on the shoulder to get his attention if he appears not to hear something they've said. He's been ok in Cub Scouts so far.

    My concern is what is going to happen as he moves into the more boy-led Webelos and Boy Scouts. One boy in his pack just keeps yelling louder if he's trying to talk to my son from behind him or to the side. He can't get that my son is unable to understand what he is saying or even that the other boy is trying to talk to him.
    From your post it is unclear if your son, or you, have told his den, and the Pack, about his condition, and explained - clearly - what is involved. You say the den leader knows what is going on, but except for the few boys who have noticed him using the FM receiver in school, the boys do not seem to be aware there is a problem. The "yeller" certainly does not seem to understand.

    You, and your son, need to be up-front about what is wrong, and the adaptions that are needed.

    Once everyone is clear on your son's problem, and how best to communicate with him, there should not be a problem.

    I also do not think you have a clear grasp on what is involved in a Boy Scout Troop. Just because boy #1 (please, twit? you are an adult and this is a child) is his father's "Golden Boy", and the father is the Committee Chair of the Cub Scout Pack, he is not automatically destined to be your son's Patrol Leader.

    First of all, your son might not even be in the same patrol as this boy.

    Second, even if he is in the same patrol, Patrol Leaders are not appointed by the Pack's, or Troop's, CC, or any other adult. Patrol Leaders are elected by the boys in the patrol.

    Bottom line is that you can not wrap your son in bubble wrap, and protect him from the world. He needs to learn to deal with his disability, and stand up for himself. A boy-led Scout Troop seems like a great place for that to happen.


    • #17
      I am sure the Trail Life group will serve you much better than the BSA


      • #18
        while I've not had to deal with this issue myself or with a scout I have had to learn with my own disability and scouts with different learning issues.

        The biggest thing I can recommend is look around at as many troops as possible when he gets into webelos. Be open and upfront. Let them know of limitations, things that work and don't work, how to he's learned to adapt, and how others like family and teachers have adapted to help him.

        I will say what others say is true in that the older boys get the easier it is to understand, remember, and adapt. There may still be some kids that struggle and I'd say if they are willing to try and find ways to include your son that is the group to be with. If they are ones that bully or exclude him I'd stay away from them.

        I do hope your son finds a troop and has a great experience. It won't always be easy, but I have seen how scouting can really help with disabilities of all sorts and help those youth learn in ways that others can't and also help the other scouts too.

        But again the most important thing is to be open and give suggestions!


        • #19
          I was once told by a very wise person to remember that we are all temporarily "able".
          When I sub-teach, I often am moved to remind my students, who I may never see again after that day, that each of them may have a talent, a gift that may not be shared with anyone else. Some of them may be really good at math, some may run faster. Doesn't mean anyone of them is more (or less) important than any other. Just so with somebody who has a "limitation", doesn't mean they are any less worthy or less....human. We are all .... human, various types and abilities. I am there to help them understand stuff, to the best of THEIR ability, not mine. If I have to adapt my teaching technique to match their ability , I will do that (much to some of their surprise!).

          Your young Scout will find his own level, and have a good time doing it.
          This subject always makes for an excellent SM Minute. A good SM will couch his language such that the boys will think universally, not just about one fellow Scout. From your discription of his friends and fellow Cubs, I think your son has already met some Scouts that have heard such a message, maybe not from a SM or CM, but from another good source.

          I like the suggestion that you can become ASM, or other Troop leader, and not only help your son , but the other Scouts as well.