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Not Quite Right in the Head - Our Responsibilities?

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  • #31
    OGE your post read that you dismissed him because of two beatings. Not any disability

    HICO thats great your able to babysit your autistic boys at summer camp. You must have a high percentage of parents participating. Right now I am trying to recruit a second adult so our troop can go. So babysitting isn't an option for us.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)


    • #32
      As has been stated before, we are not trained psychologists or social workers or even teachers for the most part. We are just parents. Volunteer parents. I think we need to make clear to the other parents and youth what our standard expectations are for behavior and conduct. Outbursts of violence, disrespect, or rage will not be tolerated, period. If you expect us to accept such behavior and make accomodations at the expense of the other scouts, then you need to find another program. I didn't tolerate that from my own kids and I'm not going to tolerate it from yours. Sorry about the diagnosis and you have my sympathy...but I cannot be a part of your treatment program.


      • #33
        Papadaddy wrote: "...but I cannot be a part of your treatment program."

        I think that is a good consise statement that we can reuse. We can accomodate disabilities, but we are not trained or to be part of a treatment program.

        A correlary to this is that you are always accepting responsibility for the scouts. Parents attending does not relieve the unit leaders of their responsibility. And, IMHO, parents attending does not guarantee safety as the parent is not joined at the hip to their scout. Most importantly, scouting is about scouts being with scouts. Our job is to encourage scouts working independently with other scouts and need to separate parents from the scouts to achieve that. So if we are successful, parents won't be there to handle their child's emotional behavior disorders.

        Essentially, if you are uncomfortable accepting responsibility for a scout, then watch out because having a parent present does little to mitigate behavior and other dangers and does not relieve you of the responsibility for that scout's behavior. Most importantly, it does not protect the reputation of your troop from that scout.


        • #34
          It's unfortunate that kids who don't have educational/behavior/mental capacity issues would and do have their scouting experience short changed because of those with issues who use scout meetings as parental respite care for an hour a week. This isn't public education, where there are supports and specialists in place to help kids with problems so that they get what they need to be and feel successful. This is scouting - we have it our group....parents who say "the school has to meet their needs - so does scouting & pick up is in an hour right?"


          • #35
            Our Troop has a small handful of kids with mental disability. Whether diagnosed or not. I was diagnosed with ADD, and I'm not sure how "different" I really was from any of my peers.

            Sometimes it's interesting to see "normal" boys acting worse than boys with confirmed diagnosed mental disorders.....

            I think it comes down to whether or not they are violent. Violence has no place in the Boy Scouts at any time ever. Kids will be kids, but if someone is getting beaten up ( which I thought I read in another post) they need to be removed. It's a safety issue.

            If the Adult leaders don't feel comfortable bringing em in or working with em, I don't think that's a bad thing. If you can't handle them, everyone including the handicaped Scout gets shortchanged.

            Basementdweller: In a Troop like yours, urban, small, a child like this is more than you need to handle. It's not fair to you or your Scouts. In my troop with the 3 ASM's and SM, plus a handful of experienced Scouters, it's not so big an issue with us.

            I think these mentally challenged lads get more from Scouting than anybody else, but their needs can't trump the other boys.

            Anyhow I'm not the Scoutmaster, it's not my call anyways. Being one of those kids who had a "label" I'd have to say everything turned out ok. It's certainly a case by case thing.

            Yours in Service,


            • #36
              Sentinel947 wrote: "... mentally challenged ..."

              I think we've all said it. I just want to be careful. It's not the mentally challenged ... or the physically challenged. They do fine in scouting. In fact, they are often the best scouts in the troop.

              It's the scouts with EBD, emotional behavior disorders.

              - Scouts that become majorly fixated and then can't listen to direction.
              - Scouts that are quick to lose it and don't handle stress.
              - Scouts once they do lose it, swear, hit, throw tantrums and potentially hurt others.
              - Scouts where these behaviors are "clinicially" significant. (beyond just having a bad day)

              - Scouting is not a treatment program.
              - Scouts need to work with other scouts, independent of adults.
              - We are all volunteers.
              - Adult leaders are not trained to handle severe psychological conditions.
              - Youth leaders are not trained to handle severe psychological conditions.


              • JoeBob
                JoeBob commented
                Editing a comment
                Fred, good summary. These are guidelines I can use.

            • #37
              Basementdweller, our campouts usually have me and the Scoutmaster and the boys (and neither the Scoutmaster nor I have kids). Our level of parent participation is ... less than I'd desire. I certainly wouldn't suggest the situation for most volunteers; it can definitely be emotionally draining at times.

              I mention our situation only to let JoeBob and others know they aren't alone in this -- and perhaps to commiserate on how much attention the boy(s) require and how they are the ones who benefit the most from this program of ours. The Super Scouts are gratifying to have and can be much more fun to deal with but frankly they don't need us -- they'll do well no matter what -- while the underprivileged boys, the ones who need more help, the ones who lack father figures, THEY'RE the ones whose lives are truly changed by our work.


              • #38
                The Super Scouts are gratifying to have and can be much more fun to deal with but frankly they don't need us -- they'll do well no matter what

                I'm not so sure about that. When the kids who do all the right things don't get much recongition for it, are they going to continue doing the right things? One of the sobering things I took away from reading A Fine Young Man was that good kids can fall apart in their teenage years. There are enough changes going on in their brains and bodies that we can't take them for granted.


                • #39
                  thanks Fred for correcting me. What you posted is exactly what I meant.

                  I hope reviving a thread after 4 days isn't necroposting...


                  • #40


                    • #41


                      • #42
                        Well I recently lost two NORMAL boys to one of these autistic fellows......He was named very specifically as the reason they left and they can name very specific incidents. To be real honest when he is around, he sets me on edge, not exactly sure why, but that spidey sense thing. I know that I need to keep an eye on him because he is know to vandalize, dissappear without telling anyone he is going, shirk responsibily and get physical with the other boys.

                        I am currently trying to decide on asking him and his parents to enjoy their scouting elsewhere. I will discuss it with the Patrol leaders, CC and COR this evening.

                        I am tired of it......He has the ability to take an enjoyable scouting weekend and make it a complete nightmare........Then he will recite the line that mom taught him. Mr B I have aspbergers and you know I don't have any control over what I say or do. Well my son you can have no control somewhere else because I am done with you. Enjoy your life sleeping on your moms couch.

                        I saw a bumper sticker that said your "Athlete will be working for my Aspie someday. " Really, maybe in the wealthy area where they can get the help they need. In my hood, they rarely graduate and just end up on drugs and public assistance.


                        • NJCubScouter
                          NJCubScouter commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Basementdweller, for crying out loud, AGAIN with the "wealthy areas"? You seem to bring that up with every single issue. Now, I don't disagree that money can make it easier to deal with a lot of different problems, but you seem to have a chip on your shoulder about this, the size of a Giant Redwood. And just because someone has an obnoxious bumper sticker doesn't excuse an obnoxious reaction -- especially when that reaction is probably not being shared with the person with the bumper sticker, but is being shared with us.

                      • #43
                        Basement, even the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) only says businesses have to make "reasonable accomodations" for workers. I am not sure a Tourette's patient would have a case against an employer whose sole focus was telephone Customer Support. The Asperger child and parents need to know that a diagnosis does not translate into "I can do whatevr the hell I want". You do not have to have a scout around you who you don't trust not to harm others or himself. He has already harmed your unit. He either shows up with an adult to watch him or he doesnt go. Not fair to the others.


                        • #44
                          Well met with the COR, CC and IH last night regarding this situation.

                          The group decided to contact the two young men that left because of Aspie scout. If they return and attend meeting and the next outing the committee will ask aspie boy to enjoy his scouting elsewhere. Aspie boy has been suspended for 30 days effective next meeting.

                          They were going to dismiss him immediately, I argued that the boys that quit might not be that interested in scouting and he was just an excuse to we will see.

                 makes a lot of problems go away. The autistic kids whose parents have money have a much different reality and future than those that don't have cash or connections. Explain to me what makes a kid born accrossed the beltway any more or less deserving that the kid born in DA Hood for health care, education or oppurtunity.


                          • #45
                            We have a scout with Aspergers. (I put an ephasis on this here because its not appropriate to say Aspergers child IMO).

                            Dad is involved with the pack as a DL, but he only listens to his dad even though his father has reminded him that other leaders in the pack can call him out when hes acting up. You just have to firm but fair with these scouts as if they didnt have a diagnosis.

                            Special needs only units are great because its good for networking and all with parents, but honestly if the goal is to help students (I teach) with disabilites be able to function in society then inclusion is the best bet. I have told myself that I would never want to turn a scout away based on their diagnosis wether it be mental or physical. If the parent pulls them out thats their call.

                            I recently worked with a scout who is dyslexic. He earned his AoL which was awesome. However, he struggles in Boy Scouts with the material. Once I told the SM some strategies he needed to work with the scout that we used, it worked almost immediately.

                            We just have to change our approach. I wish there was more training on this issue. Scouting a great program for students with disabilities.

                            As a High School Teacher, I agree with the IEP issue, its pretty much non-enforceable after high school, especially in college. Those that say its a PITA for teachers to do the accomodations, your absolutely right. If they could abolish this testing nonsense, I would love to devote more time to modifying my lessons to cater to the needs of students. We do the best we can. Its also on the kid at the HS level to start self-advocating for themselves. Its all about growing up.