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Den Chief with ASD

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  • Den Chief with ASD

    We have a great cub scout den with 8 scouts, 3 happen to have ASD.
    We also have several dens with no scouts with ASD.

    A boy scout with ASD is interested in becoming a den chief.

    Would it be better to place him with the den that that has scouts with ASD, or in a den with no scouts with ASD?

  • #2
    I do not know the boy scout.......

    A few questions....

    How much older is he than the boys in the den???

    Is he functional????

    What are his triggers????


    • #3
      I don't know the scout either, but he's going on Life, so he's got a few years of scouting under his belt.

      My question will have to remain generic: is it better for all involved (cubs with and without ASD) and the den chief to concentrate or disperse?


      • #4
        Depends on the Boy Scout. We have three ASD Scouts in our troop, and IMO only one of them has the social interactions skills to work with Cubs, whether the Cubs are ASD are not. ASD covers a very wide range.


        • #5
          If your Boy Scout is aware of his non-typical behaviors and can self advocate, then he may be aware of how others with ASD want/need to be treated. He may recognize triggers in the Cub Scouts and be able to set an example on how to mitigate sensory issues; deal with food sensitivities; and perhaps provide the right kind of feedback to your ASD Cub Scouts to help them fit in.

          On the other hand, if he has trouble self-advocating; has difficulty making transitions and recovering from change; and finds other ASD individual "irritating", then he may be better off in the den with the neuro-typical Cubs.

          How mainstreamed is he in school? Does he interact with other ASD individual in support groups or Special Olympics (or similar groups)?

          Either way, the den leader needs to know about how he interacts with others, what sensory issues he may have, what his frustration tolerance is (Heaven knows, Cub Scouts can be frustrating!), in order to help him have a successful experience. I admire him for even wanting to try.


          • #6
            That's going to be a really tricky call, and based a lot on the abilities of the boy. As some have mentioned, Autism Spectrum Disorders have a huge range, so it might be a relatively minor issue, or it could be something that would make him unable to do the job at all.

            The link below is a document I wrote about Autism Spectrum Disorders and Scouting, and it might be of some assistance.


            I'm going to say that it would probably be easier for him to work with the kids who are not on the spectrum, in most cases. If he is extremely familiar with Autism Spectrum Disorders in general, (Not just his own experiences with it) It might be good for him to work with kids on the spectrum. However, most kids at that age do not have that kind of experience. In fact, most adults on the spectrum do not have that kind of experience.


            • #7
              Put him with the den whose leader is most likely to succeed with the boy.


              • #8


                • #9
                  We had an incident at a weekend campout, one of our scouts skipped taking his medications an the consequence was not good, several of the scout leaders now want to keep all medications in a lock box and dispense medications to the scouts as directed on the bottle, the troop committee is trying to remedy this situation however we know there are legal requirements...does anyone have any suggestions?


                  • #10

                    We have one Scouter who is "medicine man" on each camp out. We have a form which parents must fill out by hand noting dosage, medicine, time of day, etc. The meds, even over the counter, must be in originals containers and in a ziploc bag with the Scout's name on it. Every med must have the Scout's name on it and accompanied by the above sheet. The Medicine Man makes morning and evening rounds (or others as needed) with another Scouter. We have each boy's med and health form in a binder we take with us. Guys needing rescue inhalers or epipens are allowed to carry one with them but we have a second with us. We always carry emergency meds with us on hikes, etc. to make finding scouts with serious issues (asthma, allergies) information in our health book we color code their cover sheet based on urgency (I.e., guys with serious issues are red sheets). When hiking or out in the wilderness we always carry a personal locator beacon, radios and cell phones to communicate or get help. Lastly, I always get the local hospital info (or local/region CareFlight number if we are in remote areas and need extraction) and make sure all adults have that while at camp.

                    This system works well for our troop. It requires a lot of planning but once in place it works pretty well. Of course, we require all Scouters to observe HIPPA regs and not discuss Scouts' conditions or anything like that. Sounds draconian but we've been entrusted with essentially being parents to 70+ kids and we need to act accordingly.

                    Hope this helps.


                    • dedkad
                      dedkad commented
                      Editing a comment
                      You are truly living the Scout motto.

                  • #11
                    Found this article on ADD/ADHD...



                    • #12
                      Did you ask the boy's parents what they think? They are the ones who know him best and know what he is capable of and not capable of.


                      • #13
                        ASD overlaps and often co-morbid with ADD and ADHD. I agree ask the parents. In my experience boys with ASD often interact WORSE with each other than "neuro-typicals".


                        • #14
                          Discussing it among the leaders is important, asking the parents is important ...
                          but a Life Scout is not too young - how about asking the boy himself as well?