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JoeBob

Not Quite Right in the Head - Our Responsibilities?

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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?"

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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,

Sentinel947

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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

Sentinel947

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Most children with special needs who are seen as violent are often only violent due to miscommunication frustrations. If we take a moment to pause and allow them to work through what they need to work through, the outburst will often be avoided. Yes, it takes a little more work, a little more patience, but scouting is about making it rewarding for all the scouts to the best of our ability. As leaders we must take the responsibility to work with children with various forms of special needs, if we just boot them to a different troop what message is that telling the other scouts?

Now, in no way am I advocating risking the safety of others please don’t get me wrong. If there is a big safety issue than it absolutely must be discussed with the parents of the child, and hopefully you can work with the parents to figure out a plan of action. I am advocating for children who already struggle being accepted into society, who already get the “you’re a retard†and “you’re pitiful†looks.

As for school mainstreaming, through there are different policies for each state, the idea behind it is for children with special needs to gain the social interactions necessary for life. It is ultimately the parents’ decision on how they want their child in the school system, but it is (hopefully) a joint effort between the family and the school to figure out the best needs of the child.

I understand that you feel it is above your pay grade to work with children with special needs. But think of the families who struggle with these actions every morning, every afternoon, every night, then only to repeat the process every day. Is it above their pay grade? They didn’t choose this life, but accept and work with it every day.

Believe me, it is not an easy job. I do it every day with various wonderful children! It is exhausting, rarely painful, but it is also rewarding with how much love these children have to offer. Create a positive connection and they will bend over backwards to make you smile.

 

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I'm with some of you in the Fact that I have trouble working with many of these individuals (it’s just not my strong point and I feel helpless so I’m left feeling uncomfortable) but at the same time they deserve what scouting can give them.

 

My old Troop we had a few situations where we had special individuals join the troop and we NEVER turned them away. In order to better learn how to work with them and learn their triggers and everything we actually sent one leader from the troop to Crotched Mountain Training Center for Weekend. She came back with a wealth of information and after working with the boys for a little while she knew what they could do when do let them have a tantrum when to reel them in. It was amazing to watch how this lady worked with them.

 

I’m sure similar courses can be found in other places and you can institute similar things in your units. All you need is one or 2 people to be willing to take the course and work more closely with the boys in question. But all the leaders still need to commit to working with them as a scout.

 

Don’t let them lose out on what scouting can give them when they can probably benefit more from it then the rest of your boys even if they never earn a single rank.

 

NOW all that being said if there is a serious safety violation, then by all means take them out of the program, because all the boys need a place where they can be safe. But hopefully before that you've sat down and talked with the parents and the Handicap trained leader on ways to avoid safety issues so you are not forced to remove the boy from the program.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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 quit......so we will see.

 

 

NJ......money 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.

 

 

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