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JoeBob

Not Quite Right in the Head - Our Responsibilities?

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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.

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Gotta say that half the posts here are pretty ill-informed when it comes to working with Scouts with disabilities. We have a boy who is higher functioning autistic and three kids with Aspergers. I wish I had mroe Scouts like my autistic kid. He is polite, always says "hi" and really works hard. Yes it is a bit like herding cats with him but his friends in his patrol really help him. The Aspergers kids are the same way. Yes they are a handful at times but never more so than any other "normal" kids we have.

 

I think the person who said earlier that putting labels on a kid makes you look at them differently has it spot on! Whether the kid is "normal" or has a disability, the monitoring of, and discipline system for these kids should be the SAME. It should not make a lick of difference if the kid has Aspergers or not. If the kid is doing stuff at Scout events that warrants punishment then serve it up fast and make sure the parents are involved. Explain what happens if it happens again or while under "probation". HOWEVER, you need to guard against scapegoating too. All too often kids with such disabilities are treated differently and alientated by the other Scouts. We assigned Guides to help our Scouts with Aspergers and met with their patrols to discuss what to expect and to heavily suggest they keep an open mind and help the guys. Too many times the kids with difficulties are demonized which leads to further aggressive behavior.

 

You may not be a mental health professional, but I bet you were never a canoeing expert, survival expert or marksman in the military either...and yet you developed those skills to help teach your Scouts. Knowing how to handle kids with a special needs like this is just another skill as a Scouter you will need to learn. Like WFA, knots or any other skill you wanted to learn to be a Scouter, this is just another skill. Whether you WANT to learn it or not is up to you.

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Gotta say that half the posts here are pretty ill-informed when it comes to working with Scouts with disabilities. We have a boy who is higher functioning autistic and three kids with Aspergers. I wish I had mroe Scouts like my autistic kid. He is polite, always says "hi" and really works hard. Yes it is a bit like herding cats with him but his friends in his patrol really help him. The Aspergers kids are the same way. Yes they are a handful at times but never more so than any other "normal" kids we have.

 

I think the person who said earlier that putting labels on a kid makes you look at them differently has it spot on! Whether the kid is "normal" or has a disability, the monitoring of, and discipline system for these kids should be the SAME. It should not make a lick of difference if the kid has Aspergers or not. If the kid is doing stuff at Scout events that warrants punishment then serve it up fast and make sure the parents are involved. Explain what happens if it happens again or while under "probation". HOWEVER, you need to guard against scapegoating too. All too often kids with such disabilities are treated differently and alientated by the other Scouts. We assigned Guides to help our Scouts with Aspergers and met with their patrols to discuss what to expect and to heavily suggest they keep an open mind and help the guys. Too many times the kids with difficulties are demonized which leads to further aggressive behavior.

 

You may not be a mental health professional, but I bet you were never a canoeing expert, survival expert or marksman in the military either...and yet you developed those skills to help teach your Scouts. Knowing how to handle kids with a special needs like this is just another skill as a Scouter you will need to learn. Like WFA, knots or any other skill you wanted to learn to be a Scouter, this is just another skill. Whether you WANT to learn it or not is up to you.

ill informed???? How so?

 

I have three scouts with autism to varying degrees.....Two are just fine, well, not violent......One is violent abusive and just plain acts inappropriate. One has been suspended for acting unscoutlike which resulted in two boys naming him as the reason he quit.

 

When is it too much.

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I agree with Krampus ... to a degree. The term "disability" is too loosely used.

 

I've had excellent experience with scouts that have some level of asbergers, autism or a disability. They are excellent scouts. I've also had scouts that come from broken homes or with parents in jail. We can work with them too. To be honest, I'm confounded when people talk of the category of asbergers as some type of really bad diagnosis. From what I see, they function fine in families and in society.

 

The category I have had little success integrating into the troop is "EBD"... i.e. significant / severe emotional behavioral disorders. Oppositional. Defiant. Strong anti-social behavior. Meanness. "I believe" (not a clinician) those fall into the term severe or significant "emotional behavior disorders" ... "EBD". I'm at the point that when I see it demonstrated, we may or may not give a warning and/or a 2nd chance. The result is separation from the troop.

 

If the scout is willing to work with us, great! We accept them. But if they want to bring meanness, oppositional, defiant or strong anti-social behaviors into the troop, they need to move on ... and very quickly move on.

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I agree with Krampus ... to a degree. The term "disability" is too loosely used.

 

I've had excellent experience with scouts that have some level of asbergers, autism or a disability. They are excellent scouts. I've also had scouts that come from broken homes or with parents in jail. We can work with them too. To be honest, I'm confounded when people talk of the category of asbergers as some type of really bad diagnosis. From what I see, they function fine in families and in society.

 

The category I have had little success integrating into the troop is "EBD"... i.e. significant / severe emotional behavioral disorders. Oppositional. Defiant. Strong anti-social behavior. Meanness. "I believe" (not a clinician) those fall into the term severe or significant "emotional behavior disorders" ... "EBD". I'm at the point that when I see it demonstrated, we may or may not give a warning and/or a 2nd chance. The result is separation from the troop.

 

If the scout is willing to work with us, great! We accept them. But if they want to bring meanness, oppositional, defiant or strong anti-social behaviors into the troop, they need to move on ... and very quickly move on.

Spot on! And it is not just kids with Aspergers that show these signs. However, there seems to be a high correlation to kids who have Aspergers and EBD. I was taken aback by the generalization being used around Aspergers as if the two (Aspergers and EBD) go hand in hand. Also, I have seen Scouters put themselves out there to learn all sorts of "fun" skills, so why not learn coping skills for kids with clinically diagnosed disabilities so you can help your Scout understand and help this kid? That was my point to those seemingly wanting to wash their hands of such issues.

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Gotta say that half the posts here are pretty ill-informed when it comes to working with Scouts with disabilities. We have a boy who is higher functioning autistic and three kids with Aspergers. I wish I had mroe Scouts like my autistic kid. He is polite, always says "hi" and really works hard. Yes it is a bit like herding cats with him but his friends in his patrol really help him. The Aspergers kids are the same way. Yes they are a handful at times but never more so than any other "normal" kids we have.

 

I think the person who said earlier that putting labels on a kid makes you look at them differently has it spot on! Whether the kid is "normal" or has a disability, the monitoring of, and discipline system for these kids should be the SAME. It should not make a lick of difference if the kid has Aspergers or not. If the kid is doing stuff at Scout events that warrants punishment then serve it up fast and make sure the parents are involved. Explain what happens if it happens again or while under "probation". HOWEVER, you need to guard against scapegoating too. All too often kids with such disabilities are treated differently and alientated by the other Scouts. We assigned Guides to help our Scouts with Aspergers and met with their patrols to discuss what to expect and to heavily suggest they keep an open mind and help the guys. Too many times the kids with difficulties are demonized which leads to further aggressive behavior.

 

You may not be a mental health professional, but I bet you were never a canoeing expert, survival expert or marksman in the military either...and yet you developed those skills to help teach your Scouts. Knowing how to handle kids with a special needs like this is just another skill as a Scouter you will need to learn. Like WFA, knots or any other skill you wanted to learn to be a Scouter, this is just another skill. Whether you WANT to learn it or not is up to you.

@Basementdweller: Ill-informed because many seem to what to throw up their hands and say "I can't deal" rather than learning how to deal with the issues. As I said in the post, we think nothing of learning WFA so we can do back-country stuff or becomming NRA certified to run a rifle range, so why not become attuned to how to deal with kids with mental challenges?

 

Answer: Because it is hard and not as fun as the other stuff...but for the kid in question it may very well be the difference between him continuing to be like that or finally changing. And yes, as long as you wear the uniform it *is* your duty to reach out whenever possible to help kids. Now, if they are breaking the law or abusing others then obviously professional help is called for.

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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)

 

Remember

- 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.

Fred, good summary. These are guidelines I can use.

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Gotta say that half the posts here are pretty ill-informed when it comes to working with Scouts with disabilities. We have a boy who is higher functioning autistic and three kids with Aspergers. I wish I had mroe Scouts like my autistic kid. He is polite, always says "hi" and really works hard. Yes it is a bit like herding cats with him but his friends in his patrol really help him. The Aspergers kids are the same way. Yes they are a handful at times but never more so than any other "normal" kids we have.

 

I think the person who said earlier that putting labels on a kid makes you look at them differently has it spot on! Whether the kid is "normal" or has a disability, the monitoring of, and discipline system for these kids should be the SAME. It should not make a lick of difference if the kid has Aspergers or not. If the kid is doing stuff at Scout events that warrants punishment then serve it up fast and make sure the parents are involved. Explain what happens if it happens again or while under "probation". HOWEVER, you need to guard against scapegoating too. All too often kids with such disabilities are treated differently and alientated by the other Scouts. We assigned Guides to help our Scouts with Aspergers and met with their patrols to discuss what to expect and to heavily suggest they keep an open mind and help the guys. Too many times the kids with difficulties are demonized which leads to further aggressive behavior.

 

You may not be a mental health professional, but I bet you were never a canoeing expert, survival expert or marksman in the military either...and yet you developed those skills to help teach your Scouts. Knowing how to handle kids with a special needs like this is just another skill as a Scouter you will need to learn. Like WFA, knots or any other skill you wanted to learn to be a Scouter, this is just another skill. Whether you WANT to learn it or not is up to you.

Sorry, Krampus.

I barely have enough time to meet with the PLC, coach my SPL through planning troop meetings, report to the committee, assign duties to my ASMs (and follow up to be sure they're okay), hold SMCs for every scout when requested, keep all my BSA required training current, occasionally visit roundtable, go on a weekend long trip once a month and a week long Summer camp every year, teach a subject every now and then, check on my boy, take care of my personal gear and uniform, and bathe. Did I mention that I have a wife who still tolerates my presence and other family members? And a full time job?

I have to prioritize my time. Seeking out specialized training to deal with one bad apple is not even on the bottom of the list.

 

If 'Surly Scout' (not diagnosed with anything that we're informed of) continues to add unwanted drama to troop activities it is my responsibility to:

1- Inform Surly Scout and parent that continued defiant behavior will result in his removal.

2- Be specific about what constitutes defiant behavior. ( Not participating in any group activities, refusal to follow reasonable instructions, aggression, etc.)

3- Remove Surly Scout from the troop for the good of the rest of the group.

 

Wearing the uniform means that sometimes you have to make tough decisions.

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Well fred and krampus, I am one of two active adults in the troop. We have a 10 to 1 ratio.....

 

Our Troop does not have the resources to babysit or chaparone an unpredictable scout.

 

While you find it personally rewarding to help this one boy, I have a troop full of them abandon, no or single parent home, raised by grandparents, no father in the picture. Most of them have add/adhd issues on top of it all. This isn't your rosey suburban picture of a two parent home with a white picket fence, two new cars and a dog.

 

Now your going to throw a mildly autuistic scout in the mix?????

 

 

I am a bottom line kinda guy........I don't have the time or interest in having or getting the training for this, your comparison to WFA is a bad one, WFA benefits everyone on the trip as does rangemaster training, My spending hundreds of dollars and countless hours getting trained for one autistic scout doesn't make sense........Call me lazy or any other name.

 

 

Krampus,....guesiing your son is autistic?

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Gotta say that half the posts here are pretty ill-informed when it comes to working with Scouts with disabilities. We have a boy who is higher functioning autistic and three kids with Aspergers. I wish I had mroe Scouts like my autistic kid. He is polite, always says "hi" and really works hard. Yes it is a bit like herding cats with him but his friends in his patrol really help him. The Aspergers kids are the same way. Yes they are a handful at times but never more so than any other "normal" kids we have.

 

I think the person who said earlier that putting labels on a kid makes you look at them differently has it spot on! Whether the kid is "normal" or has a disability, the monitoring of, and discipline system for these kids should be the SAME. It should not make a lick of difference if the kid has Aspergers or not. If the kid is doing stuff at Scout events that warrants punishment then serve it up fast and make sure the parents are involved. Explain what happens if it happens again or while under "probation". HOWEVER, you need to guard against scapegoating too. All too often kids with such disabilities are treated differently and alientated by the other Scouts. We assigned Guides to help our Scouts with Aspergers and met with their patrols to discuss what to expect and to heavily suggest they keep an open mind and help the guys. Too many times the kids with difficulties are demonized which leads to further aggressive behavior.

 

You may not be a mental health professional, but I bet you were never a canoeing expert, survival expert or marksman in the military either...and yet you developed those skills to help teach your Scouts. Knowing how to handle kids with a special needs like this is just another skill as a Scouter you will need to learn. Like WFA, knots or any other skill you wanted to learn to be a Scouter, this is just another skill. Whether you WANT to learn it or not is up to you.

@JoeBob: I hear ya. I am in the same boat with an 83 Scout troop. We do high adventure, camp 11-12 times a year and I have not had a summer to myself in I don't know how long. That said, I still go out and get my WFA, EDGE Trainer and all the other training BSA offers but does not require for the good of my boys. I took a special course on how to handle youth with certain mental issues. Not that hard.

 

I don't know your personal situation so maybe this kid falls into the category where the parents don't reign him in and professional help has not helped him either. If that is the case then cutting him for the good of the troop would be a good move. However, it seemed the course the overall discussion was taking was that kids with this type of disability are all like that and not worth the effort, hence my reluctance to join that chorus. In the end, JoeBob, most volunteers are giving people who do not give up easily. I suspect you are one of those. Your gut will tell you what to do. I just urge others to not throw the baby out with the bathwater and consider these kids as normal kids who have special issue that are not insurmountable. That's all.

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Well fred and krampus, I am one of two active adults in the troop. We have a 10 to 1 ratio.....

 

Our Troop does not have the resources to babysit or chaparone an unpredictable scout.

 

While you find it personally rewarding to help this one boy, I have a troop full of them abandon, no or single parent home, raised by grandparents, no father in the picture. Most of them have add/adhd issues on top of it all. This isn't your rosey suburban picture of a two parent home with a white picket fence, two new cars and a dog.

 

Now your going to throw a mildly autuistic scout in the mix?????

 

 

I am a bottom line kinda guy........I don't have the time or interest in having or getting the training for this, your comparison to WFA is a bad one, WFA benefits everyone on the trip as does rangemaster training, My spending hundreds of dollars and countless hours getting trained for one autistic scout doesn't make sense........Call me lazy or any other name.

 

 

Krampus,....guesiing your son is autistic?

With all due respect, none of your business.

 

I happen to have several such kids and have seen what happens when someone gives a damn about them. We are all volunteers here and give hundreds of hours every year in the development of these youth. I am certain you have issues that arise in your troop where only a single scout is affected and you handle it accordingly. All I am pointing out is that no one should single ANY kid out as not being worthy of the effort of saving UNLESS they have broken the law OR they are currently seeking professional help and it does not appear to be working. In such instances getting the kid out is the best for greater good.

 

I just find the fact that many seem to lumping these kids into a category of not being worth the time or "knowing limitations" as ironic. We deal with other kids with similar difficult issues (see thread of boy who smokes pot on camp outs and wants his Eagle) and seem to have plenty of compassion, yet in dealing with kids that may have special needs we seem to not be willing to go that extra mile. Just puzzles me.

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It is absolutely the forums business as to where you are writing your perspective from...... From your response the answer is probably yes.

 

BTW what is your scouting resume......again seein who we are talking too.

 

Mine, current SM, only 6 month, ASM 4 years, tiger, wolf, bear, webelos den leader, ACM, CM. Pack oudoor chair, District Day camp program director and CC...... I live and scout in a poor urban area, most of my scouts are from single parent, grand parent homes....Rarely is their a father figure involved. I have a troop committee of 8 60-70 year old Eagle scout life time troop members. and one other ASM in his 40's.

 

Far as the Eagle who smokes some weed......I would have suspended him and refused to sign his applicaiton. But it wouldn't have made any difference council would sign it any way. Compassion, no......I hold him to the same standard I live by......In the other thread I poked them about it being illegal, because in my lifetime it won't be.....

 

Worth the time, I don't have any more time......If I have to chose between a patrol of boys vs one autistic boy.......Guess who loses..........That is my reality, so unless the the Scouter Fairy delivers me 4 or 5 full trained ASM as volunteers it ain't gonna happen.

 

 

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Well fred and krampus, I am one of two active adults in the troop. We have a 10 to 1 ratio.....

 

Our Troop does not have the resources to babysit or chaparone an unpredictable scout.

 

While you find it personally rewarding to help this one boy, I have a troop full of them abandon, no or single parent home, raised by grandparents, no father in the picture. Most of them have add/adhd issues on top of it all. This isn't your rosey suburban picture of a two parent home with a white picket fence, two new cars and a dog.

 

Now your going to throw a mildly autuistic scout in the mix?????

 

 

I am a bottom line kinda guy........I don't have the time or interest in having or getting the training for this, your comparison to WFA is a bad one, WFA benefits everyone on the trip as does rangemaster training, My spending hundreds of dollars and countless hours getting trained for one autistic scout doesn't make sense........Call me lazy or any other name.

 

 

Krampus,....guesiing your son is autistic?

awe someone edited out Krampus swearing at me

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Well fred and krampus, I am one of two active adults in the troop. We have a 10 to 1 ratio.....

 

Our Troop does not have the resources to babysit or chaparone an unpredictable scout.

 

While you find it personally rewarding to help this one boy, I have a troop full of them abandon, no or single parent home, raised by grandparents, no father in the picture. Most of them have add/adhd issues on top of it all. This isn't your rosey suburban picture of a two parent home with a white picket fence, two new cars and a dog.

 

Now your going to throw a mildly autuistic scout in the mix?????

 

 

I am a bottom line kinda guy........I don't have the time or interest in having or getting the training for this, your comparison to WFA is a bad one, WFA benefits everyone on the trip as does rangemaster training, My spending hundreds of dollars and countless hours getting trained for one autistic scout doesn't make sense........Call me lazy or any other name.

 

 

Krampus,....guesiing your son is autistic?

With all due respect, none of your business.

 

I happen to have several such kids and have seen what happens when someone gives a damn about them. We are all volunteers here and give hundreds of hours every year in the development of these youth. I am certain you have issues that arise in your troop where only a single scout is affected and you handle it accordingly. All I am pointing out is that no one should single ANY kid out as not being worthy of the effort of saving UNLESS they have broken the law OR they are currently seeking professional help and it does not appear to be working. In such instances getting the kid out is the best for greater good.

 

I just find the fact that many seem to lumping these kids into a category of not being worth the time or "knowing limitations" as ironic. We deal with other kids with similar difficult issues (see thread of boy who smokes pot on camp outs and wants his Eagle) and seem to have plenty of compassion, yet in dealing with kids that may have special needs we seem to not be willing to go that extra mile. Just puzzles me.

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