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...Adrian’s kits are full of materials that are described as anxiety and autism comfort items, and as a part of his eagle badge requirements, Adrian supplied the kit to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department to use as a tool when they are responding to calls that involve autistic people or people in extreme anxiety. The kit contains headphones, sensory balls, fidget spinners, pipe cleaners, stretchy men and flavored tongue depressors, which are Adrian’s favorite. These kits are now carried by 42 medic units in Fairfax County, and when they are working with an individual with autism or calls involving mental health crises, the kit might be just the thing they need to help induce calm while the rescue workers tend to the task at hand. More details of this great Scout story at sources: https://ffxfirerescue.wordpress.com/2020/08/07/local-scout-creates-anxiety-and-autism-care-kits-for-fcfrd-medic-units/ http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2020/aug/13/emergencies-autistic-people-now-have-adrians-resou/ Outstanding, Scout Salute
So I recorded an episode of my podcast with Scouting with Special Needs expert Sandy Payne, and I thought you might like to hear it. She's pretty great and gives an overview of a number of different disabilities. She also goes over advancements, and "coding", and quite a bit more. https://mikecooney.net/podcast/ep-1-scouting-special-needs/
Good morning everyone. If you have been following my past two threads (linked below for your convenience), you know that my wife and I were headed to the Troop Committee last night. We had decided that we were going to withdraw our son from the troop but we still felt it important that we understand why our experience had gone sour. In addition, we wanted to address the husband and wife ASMs regarding their personal actions. Present were our District Executive, the Committee Chair, the Scoutmaster, the husband and wife ASMs, three additional ASMs, and a few others. The only thing that I don't believe I have said before is that - the day we first visited the troop - my wife and I discussed what we were trying to accomplish with our son. Specifically, that we hoped to equip the troop leaders with the tools they needed to allow him to be part of the troop without our needing to be the helicopter parents that we normally have to be. They agreed to this challenge under the condition that we understood that we might need to increase activity with the troop in the future. Here are the new items that came to light at the meeting: The story changed yet again as to why - they believed - our son fled from their care at the recent local activity. We have now heard: (a) we don't know why, (b) the underage scout didn't start the vehicle and proclaim he would be driving, © the underage scout did start the vehicle but his father did not tell our son that said scout was permitted to drive, (d) the underage scout was told by his father to start the vehicle and his father did tell our son that he was permitted to drive, and, finally, (e) the van belonged to another ASM who had instructed the underage scout to start the vehicle. None of this really matters other than to show that they're lying. When we shared our concern that the ASMs had contacted the other troop, we were amazed. They did not deny it - they were angry at the other troop's SM and threatened that they were going to have to call her to yell at her about it. When we tried to steer them back to the part about bad mouthing our son (or us) to other troops, they commented that they had to "protect other scouts at all costs". Here's where it got interesting. Another ASM spoke, commenting at length about how difficult it was to work with our son. How much time that the leadership team has spent discussing him and that they are just tired. They need to work with the other boys, too. He went on to state that the leadership team is not trained to handle this type of thing and that we were being unrealistic in our expectations. We reminded them of the initial discussion and went on to describe the full litany of steps we have taken to train and assist them since our arrival. We asked why, if they had such concerns, we weren't being taken advantage of as resources. If we are there at every meeting and most events, why are we only be used for "mop up" duty when something goes wrong? The husband and wife ASMs spoke up at this point, the husband saying that I was p***ng him off, stating that they were told by the Troop Committee (after a rafting trip that, in hindsight, was not a good decision on our part to send him) that our son would not attend any "away trips" without my wife or myself. He went on to say that we are so lazy that we haven't even followed through on that. We reminded the group that we actually had been on every away trip since then unless the SM told us that he felt confident that our son would be fine. Despite rattling off each and every trip of this nature, the ASMs said we were full of s**t. Yet another ASM spoke (with the other ASMs interjecting periodically). He shared that we had no idea how much difficulty our son has been causing. That - when he was a scout in the late 1980's - he was personally kicked out of this troop for far less than our son gets away with. That there are many scouts whom they have had to keep from leaving the troop specifically due to our son. Why should our son be permitted to continue to act out in this way when other boys have to learn how to behave? I reminded the gentleman that he is not Autistic and what a ridiculous statement that was. And, how hurtful of a statement to say that others have wanted to leave because of our son. We are supposed to be an inclusive organization. If we can't do it, that is fine with us but they needed to speak up a long time ago. The same ASM then said "you're forgetting that this isn't about us, it's about the boys" and told me that he thought we should take it outside (the husband ASM and I that is). Really? My wife started heading for the door. I, by the grace of God, kept my temper and just commented that we didn't understand what had gone wrong. As I started to go, the same ASM who had just commented, asked when we were going to discuss the nasty e-mails I had sent to the SM, CC, and DE? My wife and I stopped and asked what he was talking about. We then dug out our phones and read every word I ever sent to the DE about this. The DE concurred that we had spoken with nothing but respect the entire time. The SM, who had been silent to this point (he doesn't speak much anyway - his nature), spoke and said that the e-mail that he and the CC had received (at the same time) was equally appropriate - only describing the scenarios. He then looked directly at the husband and wife ASMs and said "all you have to do is walk him to the side, make sure he's safe, and let him calm down...it's not that hard". They assaulted him verbally about it as well - "that's unrealistic", "we can't let him treat us this way". We told the group that we felt that these folks had missed out on a great opportunity but that, in the end, it was their loss. We thanked the SM for all he had done for our son - because he has done a ton - and left. We were just amazed by the blatant ignorance of these folks to the situation and how to treat fellow human beings under the circumstances. (Not surprised, just amazed). So...what do you all think? We are moving our son on to another troop (visitations over the summer months, landing in the fall we hope). We are, also, understandably worried about how this group of people is leading boys in our town. We can't do much about it other than to raise awareness wherever we go. Does anyone think we should complain any further? If so, why? (To be clear - we don't want to go further with it at this point). Thanks for keeping me sane on this over these past days. http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/27268-scout-wautism-troop-asms-having-difficulty-possible-new-troops-sm-called-by-asms-thoughts/ http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/27281-new-twist-to-my-prior-topic-these-assistants-have-now-requested-that-our-son-be-removed/
From a good friend, a retired SE, who has a son with significant physical disability http://files.ctctcdn.com/137c2ed6201/817b1d14-318b-4316-80b5-bfdb3f8cfade.pdf?utm_source=Copy+of+2015+Abilites+Digest+Spring+Issue&utm_campaign=2015+Spring+Abilities+Digest&utm_medium=email