Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Autism Spectrum Disclosure – Final thoughts Part 3

Welcome back to all for part three. 

Autism Spectrum Disclosure – The final chapter

If you have not been around for part one or part two, please check out the following and would love to hear what you have to say. 

Part 3 – Autism Spectrum Disclosure – Final thoughts

Now that I have given some feedback on Disclosure (part 1) and you have read what our story is (part 2), I have had time to reflect on what I first wrote and prompted some  additional tips.

1      Try to provide a balance between the realities of the needs of your scout and the privacy of your scout compared to safety concerns. Safety should always win out. 

2      All medical allergies should always be disclosed and all appropriate leadership need to know for your scout's protected. 

3        Make sure to have a private meeting in advance of your scout joining a unit to talk about your scout's strengths and areas of challenge. 
4        At a bare minimum, your unit leader and Committee Chair need to know of your scout's condition and issues. 
5        When filling out any medical forms, provide as much information as possible. 
6        If the leadership does not know about an issue, they will not be prepared to help your scout out and could put the whole unit in harm’s way.
7        The leadership wants your scout to be successful; work with them like you would a teacher and give them the tools they need to help get the best out of your scouts. 
8         Provide the top leadership an introduction letter (at the private meeting or prior to the meeting). On single  piece of paper, provide the scout's name, a recent photo (color if possible), areas of challenge, strengths, special interests and triggers that might send the scout into a meltdown. If you can provide any suggestions or tools you have used to help an these situations that would be also be very helpful. For example a brief sensory break or quite area to recover.
9        Make sure any leader is aware of any wandering issues especially in a camping or hiking situation. Your scout’s life might depend on it. 
10    If your scout has a more severe case of Autism, consider doing a unit awareness presentation to help inform the unit about your scout's condition. Knowledge is power and most scouts should show the scouting spirit and will welcome and help your scout. 
11    Do not let Autism define your scout, let their actions define their character.

Be willing to be on the scouts first few outings at a bare minimum. Being involved in leadership is a rewarding way to help empower and bond with your scout as well as being an advocate for them. Many times a scout just knowing you are around will allow them the personal security is close at hand. This helped with us early in the Boy Scouting experience. 

If you have any other suggestions, let us know. You can e-mail me at autismandscouting@gmail.com or leave a message on the Facebook page Autism and Scouting.

Support Your Scouts

2 comments:

  1. This is a great list and neatly puts the safety of the individual and the troop ahead of privacy concerns.

    So... if we assume that nearly everyone knows - do your patrol leaders know? How do you deal with bullying when it occurs?

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  2. Thanks Gavin.

    For Justin the Patrol Leaders (other boys which are his peers) they do not know. I think if a something comes up that might require it, then I think it would be good but if it is not needed then privacy of the scout should win out.

    Bullying is a really tough one and I think this would be the making of a good blog. I have one planned for Tuesday first.

    Thanks again.

    John

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