Sunday, April 17, 2011

Welcome to Autism and Scouting Blog

Welcome to my Autism and Scouting Blog

As this is Autism Awareness Month, I have been promoting the Autism and Scouting Facebook page all month and we have gotten a lot of new members. I will be posting this blog there as well. To all of the new members, welcome and to everybody reading this blog, I welcome you to check it out. 

I am the father of two boys, my oldest has aspergers and has been in scouting for coming up on five years (1 year in Boy Scouts) and my youngest who has Autism will be joining Cub Scouts in about a year from now.  I was an assistant den leader for my sons first year in scouting as a wolf and then the den leader for the three years (Bear and two years of Webelos). I took 5 months off and then after my son’s return from summer camp, joined the troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster became fully trained and as part of my duties is the Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge Counselor (among some others). 

I first started this Facebook Page in August of 2010 after returning from summer camp and watching the scouts and how they relate to each other and staff. I saw a great need for staff to understand those on the Autism Spectrum and was a great learning tool for me.  During that time I felt a calling to help not only my son but all of the kiddos who call scouting home. I honestly believe that scouting can be used as a tool to help all kiddos with Autism to be more successful and accepted. At this time, I went to google and tried to research Autism and Scouting and came up with very little and many things that were outdated and nothing with practical advice for those who support these kids on how to get the most out of the Scouting experience. 

I thought since there is nothing now out in the mainstream to bring light to the extreme benefits of scouting for those who have Autism, why not me. It took a few months but on January 1 of this year, I started to write my book about Autism and Scouting. Again, I just did not want it to give just facts but those are important, I wanted the book to have a real face to it with real scout stories of scouts who have both seen the positive and the negative side of scouting, from the scout leaders to the parents who support them in the scouting experience.  The writing has been slow going because I have many other commitments but it is starting to come together. I am still in need of more feedback from scouts, leaders and parents and if you know of anybody willing to help, you can contact me either on the Blog Comments below, you can e-mail me or you can leave a note on Facebook.  

In this blog you will find things relating to Autism and the autism spectrum (including Asperger's, PDD/NOS and all spectrum variances) as it relates to Scouting and I am always open to comments and suggestions. I would love to know what subjects you would like me to cover. 

I want to say a special Thank You to my ever loving wife Karen. She is an Aspie and has a great blog all about Autism, Aspergers and the theme of acceptance for all with ASD. She has been very supportive even while times have been tough for us due to the current economic times. She is the one who suggested to me to start this new Blog site and I dedicate all of my work to her and my sons. If it was not for her Love and Support, I would be half the person I am.  She supports me each week as we go off  to the Troop meetings knowing that her work may have to be put on hold while taking care of our other son. It is her Love that allows me to grow as a person, a leader and father.  The best day of my life was the day she walked into it and did not run the other way. I know how much sacrifice you have given, it does not go unnoticed. Thank you so much for everything. 

Please check out the Facebook Page and I hope you will follow me here on Blogger.

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  1. Thanks for creating this blog, John! It's always helpful to have a community of peers to discuss Autism topics with.

  2. Thank you so much Amy. I think it is important that all scouts have the chance for success.