Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
The Latin Scot

Helping a Special-Needs Cub Transition

Recommended Posts

So, any opinions on this matter would be helpful.

I currently have a boy in my Webelos den who has a number of challenges. The primary challenge is that he is about midway up the autism spectrum; he functions well, but there are enough triggers and whatnot to set him off somewhat easily unless he gets special attention. The other problem is that his family speaks very little English; they came up from Mexico only a few years ago, and communication is a challenge for the family. There are other socioeconomic challenges they face on top of all this. 

Now, none of these are problems at the present - I have long years working with autistic school children, and I am Latino myself, so right now my den is the best place the boy can be - he is understood and cared for and working with his challenges is not an issue for my leadership team. My question is: what happens when he ages out of my den and moves on to the Boy Scout troop?

His new leader is experienced, but not very skilled, with Scouting. Even normal-functioning boys can be too much for his limited leadership skills at time. With this boy coming in later this year, I want to help him be prepared so that he will know how to work with the boy and his family, and I want the boy to feel like he is moving on to a safe environment where he will be understood and loved just as he was with me. He will be 11 by the, but developmentally he will be much younger than the other boys in some ways. This new leader does speak Spanish, which will help. But where do I start in helping the coming transition be successful without meddling where I ought not? 

The boy's mother spoke to me for some time after our den meeting last night, and she was both grateful for all we have done over the past few months to help her son, and fearful over what will happen when he has to cross over. I managed to assuage her concerns for the time being, but I want to have more concrete ideas for how to move forward. Again, all suggestion and thoughts will be tremendously appreciated at this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has this Scoutmaster visited your Webelos den meeting yet?

Do you have a den chief from his troop?

My prediction is you will be recruited to be an ASM.  :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have him start attend their meetings now to observe and participate a little so the leader can adjust before he actually comes into the troop.

Or what @RememberSchiff said

Edited by ItsBrian
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having had several kids on the autism spectrum in our unit, I have to say that having involved parents was key. Also, making sure several of the leaders are trained in how to deal with kids on the spectrum was also helpful. If you search around this forum there should be a thread about a pretty good video series put together by a member. This is the council but I don't see the video series they put together there. You can contact them and maybe they can share it with you.

Here's another decent link.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the suggestions. We have our den meetings the exact same time as his future troop meetings, so I have to plan carefully if I am to arrange any visiting by either the boy or his future leaders. They can't get me as an ASM either because of that time conflict.

My main concern is getting the future leader trained; he is very hands-off and somewhat distant with his boys (the running joke is that he always seems more dead than alive). This particular boy needs a leader who is going to be invested in his growth and progression, and I have a hard time seeing the leader give that. In fact he was one of my leaders back when I was a boy in the troop, and even then he was almost oblivious to whatever went on in the group. I want to be optimistic, but I have my reservations about the transition  ...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Due to the SM being distant, I would ask if a ASM could be his aide, or any other active adult member.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a good idea; I know getting leaders into our groups is like pulling teeth lately, but this is a situation where it would be HUGELY beneficial if somebody could step in to be his special mentor. I will put that idea forward; thanks @ItsBrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

That is a good idea; I know getting leaders into our groups is like pulling teeth lately, but this is a situation where it would be HUGELY beneficial if somebody could step in to be his special mentor. I will put that idea forward; thanks @ItsBrian

I forgot to add this before, if you do go through with that, start having him interact with his special mentor before even interacting with the Troop. It’ll make him more comfortable since he will be like “Oh I know him!” and will most likely just feel better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×