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SheriB

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About SheriB

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  1. I think accross the board, that the ratio of SN Scouts to Average Scouts is less than say public scoool populations. The higher concentration I believe comes from certain troops attracting more special needs scouts than others. We rejected 3 other area troops before settling on the one we're in, and that goes for a couple other families I know of also.
  2. I do not expect with our leader ratio that any scout should change thier schedule to have a buddy with them, I understand that the schedule may change because of enrollment issues, but that was not the case here. His prerequisites were completed, the only reason he didn't get to go to his selections was because none of the adults would accompany him....and no, they are not working the camp, for the most part I didn't see them doing much of any thing, and the troop paid for most of the registration costs. "The opportunity was certainly provided." For my son, it was not...he was told that he had to go with the other scouts, not to the merit badges of his choice. "But I don't think that's doing your son a service. By age 13, he needs to be learning to overcome his disabilities" That's like telling a blind person that they need to learn how to see ...I know that most people can't accept that fact, but that's the way it is. It can't be overcome, but it can be worked with & around, and eventually, he will be able to function independantly. For people with autism, there are certain things that need to be done to allow them to function in the real world, including knowing what to expect well in advance--they NEED schedules. Autistic traits also include STRONG preferences for some subjects & complete lack of ability to focus on others, and, until he is allowed to set & follow his own schedule as an adult in the "real" world, and settle into his subject area, he will neeed guidance & direction along the way. My son is "high-functioning" meaning that his IQ is quite high, not that I'm bragging. It's not so much that he needs someone to hold his hand all day at camp or baby him through the badge work, but that since he has problems with transitioning from one activity to another the Scouters decided that he'd have to stay with the other scouts who were then expected to make sure that he stayed with them & out of trouble. It was suggested that instead of doing that, that one of the leaders shadow him from one activity to the next. For my son, every sensory experience is magnified 100 fold...sounds, smells, tastes, touches...and especially emotional hurts. And lets face it, teenage boys, even Scouts, can be cruel. Even if they don't realize it, their preferences to avoid my son hurt him deeply. He is treated like their baby-brother that they have to drag along to the movies...now imagine that boy's feelings times 100. My son does have Scouting strengths...his patriotism, his leather & woodworking interests, his presentation-making skills (power point, slide shows, computer stuff) Instead of letting his skills be used, he was put into the "bookish" types of mb's that are a real struggle for him. He works on those mb's at home in small stages. He has done all of the requirements for each rank & MB on his own. Without using altered requirements. "That's what "mainstreaming" is all about, isn't it?" Mainstreaming is about EVERYONE getting along, working together, stretching limits. It is about the special needs child learning about "real world" issues, and it is about teh "average" child learning to accept other's challenges & differences & about both of them contributing positively to the group. "I am willing to learn. " That's all I'm asking.
  3. In response to "scoutldr"-- I think you misunderstand what I have asked from our troop leadership...#1 that the schedule that they fill out at the PLC meetings be given to my son (schedules & expectations are critical to him)...#2 That at meetings, everyone is treated fairly...because of his poor eye contact & body language, he has been singled out to be blamed for things that other Scouts have done...#3 That he be allowed to isolate himself when he feels the need within the meeting or activity area (to sit under a table, in a corner, under a tree) while he calms down. #4 That meetings be orderly...starting on time, following a schedule. At Summer camp, he had selected merit badges to work on, pre-registered with the leaders, and after he arrived at camp, he was the one who had to change ALL of his choices to fit with other Scouts, and the Leaders generally stay at the campsite, instead of being with the boys. In my training, I understood that it was the Scouters' responsibility to be sure that the Youth are effectivly leading the meetings, to assist & support those youth leaders to provide effective programs for the Scouts in the troop. To help guide the youth into becoming good leaders: Encouraging each other, building self-esteem, helping through wekanesses, celebrating strengths, encourage teamwork...all keys to being a "good leader" whether youth or adult. What generally happens though is the Leaders have thier social hour, ignoring the boys who magnify differences, blame for weaknesses, take positives for granted, exclude those less able. Take, for example, our recent "Challenge COurse" excursion...Having been an instructor myself, I know the importance of the low ropes course, to build confidence, team work, and self-esteem. We had several Scouts along that had never been through the course, and were looking forward to the low ropes, unsure of their ability to tackle the high ropes. The Scouts (primarily older scouts) were allowed to skip the low ropes, and jump straight to the high ropes. 4 Scouts didn't even attempt the course, and 3 scouts failed the first obstacle on the high course. Tell me where the confidence is, the team work, or the self-esteem for the boys that were not considered, left out, and failed. I am not asking them to be therapists...just to better manage the troop. When we have 7-10 adults along for a Summer Camp, for about 15 kids, I do not feel it is unreasonable that they accompany Scouts to their activities, assuring ALL scouts, not just mine, can attend the Merit Badges of their choice. Tell me, if you were looking forward to learning leather work and wood carving, and were forced to attend environmental science instead--a topic that you have NO interest in--just because that's what another Scout wants...And that's what happened for EVERY ONE of his merit badges 2 years ago. As far as the appologies for his triggers, he should--and does--appologize for his behaviors. But, common courtesy for ALL requires that if there's a major misunderstanding, and you've offended me, even without knowing, that when you do know of your inadvertant faux pas, that YOU appologize also. Ie. you sit in an empty seat, not seeing my bag under the table. I approach you, appologize for having to reach under your seat to get my bag, wouldn't you naturally appologize for having taken "my" seat??? I have volunteered as much as I can...I've been wearing several Scouter hats for 20 years...well before I ever had boys of my own to lead...I've provided the leaders & youth with information to understand & accept invisible disabilities, but what I can't make them to is understand, accept, appreciate the differences (strengths AND weaknesses) and make the small changes to allow my Scout to be a valuable member of the troop.
  4. SheriB

    Disclosure and Special Needs

    As a mother of 2 special needs scouts & a DL, WL, TCM, and whatever other minor hats I wear in the Pack/Troop with special needs, it doesn't surprise me that some parents don't report issues, but it does frustrate me. Unfortuantely, the coin does have 2 sides....I am extremely frustrated that after disclosing my eldest's disability, including detailed ways to minimize problems, and explicit directions to deal with melt-downs, the powers that be in our troop continue to ignore these suggestions. The very "boy led" troop's answer is, you or your dh will just have to stay with him at all meetings or activities. The other scouts continue to ignore the hints, tips, suggestions, directions, rules etc. for dealing with his disability. It's almost as if they HOPE he'll drop out.
  5. SheriB

    Asperger Syndrome Scouts

    I'd also like to chime in on "rude" vs "symptom" My 13 yo son has AS, and as dedicated as I am to making allowances for his disabilities, there are times that I am CERTAIN that he's playing me....until he melts down & out pops the "real" issue behind the behavior. He has always proven me wrong when I believe he's pushing my buttons. Since I wasn't in on the original thread, I don't know what the behaviors are, to help find an explanation, but I've become pretty good at finding the keys. What I've found with my son is that he understands when a certain behavior is rude (at least he does once I've explained the "normal" viewpoints) and is eager to set things right. But, rather than expect him to appologize & that be the end of things, I will help him dialog with the other person to see why he reacted the way he did, and expect that the other person will also admit a mistake & offer an appology. For example, there was an incident a few weeks back at a meeting, where he grabbed a paper that the patrol leader was using to record dues on, wadded it up & stuffed it in his mouth....this on the surface seems completely uncalled for, and all his fault, until you find out that one of the other scouts got annoyed by his chewing on a straw, & took it & threw it away. My son has a very stron oral fixation & when it got to be too much, he grabbed the closest thing at hand, a piece of paper. I have another post in the Scouts with Disabilities list about "invisible disabilities" you might want to check out.
  6. SheriB

    Asperger Syndrome Scouts

    I'd also like to chime in on "rude" vs "symptom" My 13 yo son has AS, and as dedicated as I am to making allowances for his disabilities, there are times that I am CERTAIN that he's playing me....until he melts down & out pops the "real" issue behind the behavior. He has always proven me wrong when I believe he's pushing my buttons. Since I wasn't in on the original thread, I don't know what the behaviors are, to help find an explanation, but I've become pretty good at finding the keys. What I've found with my son is that he understands when a certain behavior is rude (at least he does once I've explained the "normal" viewpoints) and is eager to set things right. But, rather than expect him to appologize & that be the end of things, I will help him dialog with the other person to see why he reacted the way he did, and expect that the other person will also admit a mistake & offer an appology. For example, there was an incident a few weeks back at a meeting, where he grabbed a paper that the patrol leader was using to record dues on, wadded it up & stuffed it in his mouth....this on the surface seems completely uncalled for, and all his fault, until you find out that one of the other scouts got annoyed by his chewing on a straw, & took it & threw it away. My son has a very stron oral fixation & when it got to be too much, he grabbed the closest thing at hand, a piece of paper. I have another post in the Scouts with Disabilities list about "invisible disabilities" you might want to check out.
  7. SheriB

    DISABILITYAWARENESS

    We do, but it hasn't been very effective for the issues in our troop.
  8. My two sons, 13 & 11, have been in Scouts since Tigers. My oldest has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of Autism. To look at him in a photo, there is no clue that he is disabled in any way. When it was time for him to cross over, we searched for a mainstreamed troop that has empathetic leaders, experience with disabliities, and caring Scouts. We found what seemed a perfect troop for him. But, when he joined Boy Scouts, nearly 4 years ago, his differences, and thier preparedness to lead & serve him became painfully obvious to everyone in the Troop. I have done all I can to educate the Scouts on his differences, how to minimize the chaos that bothers him severely, and how to deal with his melt downs. But, being that it's a strongly "Scout-led" group, they just don't seem to get it. Partly because of his socialization issues, when the other members of his patrol work together on merit badges, he is left out. When the others put together the slide shows for the courts of honor, he is left out. He is not the only Scout with special needs in the troop. One of his patrol members is wheelchair bound. No one fails to make sure that he is involved in some way in everything the troop does. The difference, the visibility. Our council's special needs department has provided nothing to help the situation. When asking for assistance for both scouts at Summer Camp--accessible campsite for the one, and a "shadow" Scouter or Scout for my son--the department was quick to arrange accessibility for the wheelchair, and to deny any assistance for my son. Two summers ago, I prepared a detailed printed schedule for him, with space for the leaders to make changes as necessary, and to make specific notes for me when they returned home. What ended up happening, was that he was sent with other Scouts to Merit Badges that he did not want to participate in, changing his entire schedule (which is a major problem for people with autism) One day, the attitudes of the leaders was put to paper (I'm sure the adult forgot that the notes were coming home with my son) and his words were "If he can't do things the way he's supposed to, he shouldn't be in Scouts!" This man's bile then filled my son's camp journal with everything he did wrong and every incovenience his disability caused. After that trip, my son decided that he hates Scouts. The only events he has enjoyed are the ones that I've been along on (almost all of the trips he's gone on & every one of the meetings where I'm overstepping the bounds of adult leadership according to other troop leaders) where I keep him involved & resolve the conflicts, and sheild him from intollerance & abuse. The only merit badges he has completed in his 3 years at summer camp were finished this year with me as his shadow. Do other councils have better response to invisible disabilities, training for leaders & youth, or resources available?
  9. For the Webelos cross over, our pack presents the boys with a large plaque commenorating their acheviements while they were cubs. We mount ALL of their ranks, prog. toward ranks, arrow points, belt loops & pins, activity badges, derby & regatta medals, literally everything they EARNED (not camp patches, etc.) Problem being, this year, two of our boys have lost the Tiger Cub Leather belt totem and the Greater St. Louis Tiger Cub Graduate pocket patches. Both of these were discontinued when the program changed in 2001 (These guys were tigers in 2000) ANy suggestions? Also, we're trying to find the old Skating belt loop & pins (has been replaced by Roller Skating & Ice Skating) Please HELP....we've got 3 weeks.
  10. These were the instant recognition totems that were used BEFORE 2001 for the boys in Tiger cubs. It was a brown leather belt totem that had 2 thongs for adding Orange & White beads for family activities & electives. These were in addition to the iron on paw prints. These Tiger items were discontinued when the BSA introduced the Tiger Rank insignia & changed the program. And, NO, the Arrow of Light Boards are not dealing with advancement, it's a large plaque that displays all of the awards, advancements & acheivements that the boys earned while they were Cub Scouts. We include rank patches, progress toward rank totems, arrow points, belt loops & pins, Webelos activity badges, Pack & Den numbers, Council patch, special awards (recruiter, phys. Fitness, Religious medals, conservation patches, etc.) Summertime activity pins, and Blue medals for Derbies & regattas they participated in(we add service stars for participating more than 1 year in any) The boys do the sanding, decorating & staining on a 1x10" board that's about 3' long. The leaders (having collected all the items for display) attach everything to the board, adding 2 cup hooks to the bottom. At the cross-over, whey they are presented the Arrow of Light, Each boy is given a real arrow (blunt tipped) painted gold that he'll hang from teh board. For my sons, I add a square of red canvas to the bottom & put all of thier patches on that. Hope that clears things up for everyone.
  11. HELP! I've got 2 Webelos scouts who've lost their tiger cub leather progress toward rank belt totems and Tiger Cub Graduate Pocket Patches and we're doing their Arrow of Light Boards in 2 weeks. We're also looking for 2 replacement Skating Belt Loops and Pins. The Tiger Cub Graduate Patch that we're looking for was an orange patch with yellow border offered in St. Louis. Any Ideas where I can find these items?
  12. HELP! I've got 2 Webelos scouts who've lost their tiger cub leather progress toward rank belt totems and Tiger Cub Graduate Pocket Patches and we're doing their Arrow of Light Boards in 2 weeks. We're also looking for 2 replacement Skating Belt Loops and Pins. The Tiger Cub Graduate Patch that we're looking for was an orange patch with yellow border offered in St. Louis. Any Ideas where I can find these items?
  13. HELP! I've got 2 Webelos scouts who've lost their tiger cub leather progress toward rank belt totems and Tiger Cub Graduate Pocket Patches and we're doing their Arrow of Light Boards in 2 weeks. We're also looking for 2 replacement Skating Belt Loops and Pins. The Tiger Cub Graduate Patch that we're looking for was an orange patch with yellow border offered in St. Louis. Any Ideas where I can find these items?
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