Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for Scouting


happythanksgivingar.jpg
Welcome to Autism and Scouting. I hope all are having a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. This has been an amazing year both on a personal and professional level.

I am thankful for so many things in my life. For starters I am thankful for.

God

Family

Nation

Health

Included on this are many things that are scout related. Here is that list.

I am thankful for all of the Scouting Pioneers (Robert Baden-Powell -Boy Scouts, Ernest Seton - Woodcraft Indians, Juliette Gordan Low - Girl Scouts, Agnes Baden-Powell - Girl Scout Guides, William Boyce - bringing Scouting to the US, Daniel Beard - Sons of Daniel Boone later to join the BSA, Burton Pierce - founder of the Royal Rangers and all of the other leaders around the world) who brought the scouting movement to the youth around the world).

I am thankful for James E. West who was the first Chief Scout Executive. He himself had a disability was a strong advocate for those with Disabilities.

I am thankful to be associated with a Unit (Troop 462), District (Columbia Gorge) and Council (Cascade Pacific) who have had leadership that have advocated for those with Special Needs.

I am thankful for Autism Empowerment, the 501(c)(3) Non-profit that Karen and I started this past June that made Autism and Scouting as one of its programs. Here is a link to the Autism Empowerment Scouting program.

I am thankful for all of the wonderful Scouting and Autism programs that will be added in 2012.

I am thankful that I was asked to provide training for the Cascade Pacific Council in the area of Autism and Scouting. I am also thankful that I have been asked back for next year as well.

I am thankful for all of the parents and guardians who have made the choice to have their children in a scouting program.

I am thankful for all of the wonderful leaders who put in their “1 hour” per week  That 1 hour (52 for the year) typically is more like 208 - 500 hours per year.

I am extra thankful for the leaders that find the time to learn more about Autism, Aspergers, ADHD and other related disabilities that our scouts have.

I am thankful for all of the parents, leaders and scouts around the world that have liked the Autism and Scouting Facebook Page and those who follow us on Twitter @autismscouting.
Currently there are 196 at Facebook and 172 at Twitter.

I am thankful for the people who share, read and contribute to this wonderful online community.

I am thankful that my son formed his first real friendship (which started in Cub Scouts) and that friendship has lasted for five years despite his friend leaving scouting three years ago.

I am thankful for all of the skills that he has learned while in scouts. Passing the swim test on the Hood Canal in the Puget Sound, all of the first aid, dealing with other peer scouts, working on sensory issues, learning leadership as Webmaster and Patrol Leader and working side by side doing service projects.

I am thankful for of all of the wonderful memories that my son and I have as a result of Scouting. Overnight on the USS Nimitz, overnight on the USS Blueback (Submarine), Pinewood Derby car-making, Winter Lodge on Mt. Hood, marching in the Veteran’s Day parade in the pouring rain (two years in a row), Walk and Knock in the snow, the Interfaith Service that Justin put together for his Communications Merit Badge, seeing Justin earn his Religious Knot, our first overnight campout in a tent, the owls at Camp Currie (WHO let the owls out, WHOO WHOO WHOO?) and even my dripping tent all night long and wet socks... and Camporee (the latter not so much)

I am thankful for all of the adult leaders I have met around the world many of which I call friends.

I am thankful that scouting can be a place where any children of different abilities can can come and learn different skills in a safe and accepting environment.

I am thankful for this Blog, the Autism & Scouting Facebook Page & Group Page and thankful for Autism Empowerment being able to serve others.

For more information on Autism and Scouting as well as Autism Empowerment, we invite you to check out these links.

Autism Empowerment - http://www.autismempowerment.org
Autism Empowerment Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/autismempowerment
Autism and Scouting Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/autismandscouting
Twitter@autismscouting and @autismempowermt


Again, Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do a Good Turn Daily!

Do a Good Turn Daily!

For those in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the United States, “Do A Good Turn Daily” should be more than just a slogan but should be something that is practiced on a daily basis. Those in Cub Scouts once they crossover over should "Be Prepared” for service.

As today, November 13th, 2011 is World Kindness Day, this is a good day to make sure that your scouts put into practice this concept. If you were not aware of World Kindness Day, you may be wondering what this is.

The idea behind the World Kindness Movement (WKM) crystallized at a conference in Tokyo in 1997 when the Small Kindness Movement of Japan brought together like-minded kindness movements from around the world.

The Mission…
The mission of the World Kindness Movement (WKM) is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and connect nations to create a kinder world. The WKM encourages individuals of all nations to set up their own kindness movements. It is also actively seeking kindness movements to join the WKM. Currently, membership stands at 18 kindness organizations with representation from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Dubai, England, India, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the USA.



For those of us in the USA who know the history of the Scouting Movement, as legend goes it was one random act of kindness that was the root of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1909, Chicago publisher W. D. Boyce was visiting London, where he encountered a boy who came to be known as the Unknown Scout. Boyce was lost on a foggy street when an unknown Scout came to his aid, guiding him to his destination. The boy then refused Boyce's tip, explaining that he was a Boy Scout (in London) and was merely doing his daily good turn. Soon thereafter, Boyce met with General Baden-Powell, who was Chief Scout of the world at the time. Upon his return to the United States, Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. It was the scout’s random act of kindness and his duty to doing a good turn daily that sparked the first 101 years of scouting in the United States.

When many Cub/Joey/Beaver unit leaders, Boy Scout Leaders, Girl Scout Leaders, Impact Girls, Heritage Girls or Royal Rangers Units leaders were recruited by other leaders, it was suggested that the volunteer service would be only 1 hour a week.  For the vast majority of these leaders it is 5 to 20 times or more that amount but for these leaders, most do it generally without much complaint. The love of seeing the youth grow from young boys and girls into young men and women is reward enough.  These leaders are inspired many times by a greater calling. The leaders in these scouting movements really go above doing a good turn daily and embody what this day is all about.

In my wife’s opinion as well as my own, we believe the world can certainly use more kindness... and acceptance... and tolerance.  It starts at home. It starts with me. It starts with you.  Today and tomorrow may we look beyond ourselves and beyond the boundaries of our city, state or country.  May we look beyond our culture, our race and our religion and realize that we are citizens of the world, beautiful people from the inside out able and meant to do good works.

Spreading love and generosity through random acts of kindness really can make a difference in people's lives. You may find that as you set out to do a kind act (perhaps anonymously) for another without looking for recognition or glory that a couple things will happen.  One... you'll be making a positive difference in someone else's life and give that person confidence and faith that there are kind people in this world. Two... you'll feel a special joy inside, one that is much richer than any tangible reward.

Here in the autism community we often find ourselves facing challenges that are difficult to face.  I don't discount that but it's important to remember that the way we look at adversity will often impact not just our mood and attitude but the mood, attitude and actions of those around us as well.  Ever seen a chain of meltdowns happen one after the other?  We've been there!  

Even when you're overloaded and in need of a break, try making a daily choice to put yourself in a positive atmosphere and live your life with kindness, integrity and accountability.  Your optimistic attitude will rub off on others and will be a great example to those around you. Now I know that what I'm saying is easier said than done but we certainly can try for positive change! Realize it's okay to slip and fall and try again. 

For those scouts on the Autism Spectrum having them do a random act of kindness on a daily basis can be a challenge in some cases.  There are some ways you can help these scouts. 

1, Have them take part in your unit’s monthly service project. This is a good way to have them be involved in the unit and provide service to the community.  Your unit should do a monthly service project, if they are not talk to your committee to start this service. 

2. When Life Scouts need help in their Eagle Projects, have your scout help out. This will not only get them involved in the unit, this will also let them get a better understanding on what an Eagle Project looks like.
Have them start out with a simple good turn at home. 

3. Have them give a Smile Card. 

My wife picked up some free Smile cards from http://www.helpothers.org/ .  The boys and I have had lots of fun finding ways to give them out. Maybe you'd like to give it a try? There is also an organization in Australia doing something similar with Ripple Kindness cards. http://www.rippleeffects.com.au/RippleCards.html You can also down load them for Free if you would like. 

4. Another simple way is to have them give somebody a smile. 

The four foundational pillars of Autism Empowerment are Accept,Enrich, Inspire, Empower. The value system and philosophy we embody can be applied to anyone's life.  

For more information on Autism and Scouting as well as Autism Empowerment, we invite you to check out these links.


Autism Empowerment - http://www.autismempowerment.org
Autism Empowerment Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/autismempowerment
Autism and Scouting Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/autismandscouting
Twitter
@autismscouting and @autismempowermt

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Amazing Injury! A story of Amazing Growth

The Amazing Injury! 

This is a simple story on how a simple game is much more than a simple game.  I asked my oldest son if it would be ok with him to share this story and he said that it was ok. My oldest is twelve years old and is currently in the Boy Scouts . He is currently a Star Scout as well as the Patrol Leader for his patrol, the Rabid Squirrels.

He was elected to the position of Patrol Leader in September and as part of his responsibilities, he has to attend a monthly PLC (Patrol Leader Council). The PLC is made up of all of the Patrol Leaders, the Senior Patrol Leader and his assistants. Their main job during the monthly meeting is to plan the next month’s Troop meetings. During the meeting, they plan the opening, the skills instructions and interpatrol activity (a game based on the skills instruction) as well as other needed troop business. 

Justin is normally pretty quiet at these meetings and generally sits and takes things all in. During the meeting while all the leaders and assistants were preparing for this month’s meetings, Justin was assigned to come up with the skills instruction and the interpatrol activity (game). At the time it really did not sink in about what needed to be done and so he gladly accepted the responsibility.  He was going to have two weeks to prepare because they were off a week for Halloween.

A few days later, he was in panic mode. What did he get himself into? Why am I the Patrol Leader? These were some thoughts of “I can’t do this” and “I never wanted to do this or be Patrol Leader”.  After the last very successful outing in which his patrol did an outstanding job, all of that was wiped away and self-doubt and lack of confidence was the new norm.

I was told when I first became an Assistant Scoutmaster that it was more than likely that the scouts would experience challenges and failures early on and that it would be okay since leadership is a learning and growth process. To many who have Aspergers (not all since every scout is different) any type of failure can be devastating even when they are told that it is okay to fail. For Justin, at this point he froze and could not even start the planning process. To him failure looked like the only thing that he could see when it came to this task he had been assigned.

I had offered from the onset to sit down with him and work it out together to provide the support, but at the time, the fear was just too great in his mind. He shut down and said he needed a break.  Respecting that and trying to give him the time he needed, the first day passed by, then the second day, then the next and the next.  It was much easier to retreat to his special interest of computers. Funny thing is that his special interest (computers) would cycle back to play a big role in increasing his self-confidence and opportunity for success but I had not seen it at the time. The whole thing was a good refresher for me as well regarding how I can better assist him and other scouts in similar situations during these hard times.

He was told at the PLC meeting to send the information and concept for the planned skills and game to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader by the end of Friday (the 4th of November). By this point, it was already Thursday, November 3rd at dinner time and the information had not yet been completed. Getting started on big and even small projects while trying to get his thoughts and self organized has been a challenge at times when it came to schoolwork.  Here in a different setting, we noticed the same challenges creeping in and the fear was in a sense paralyzing him and not giving him the chance to start. My wife who also happens to have Asperger’s compares it to the writer’s block she often experiences. Often it isn’t the project that is that difficult.  It is the beginning and getting that first perfect word on paper without editing and re-editing. It’s breaking through the brainstorm and getting the ideas to pour out on paper or verbally.  In this particular case with our son, the whole situation was amplified to an extreme level.

Not only was he having the challenges organizing his thoughts to start the project but it was compounded by fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear that I would be disappointed and all of the negative emotions that a twelve year old could possibly have.

One of the tips I had given at the Autism and Scouting leadership training I gave at the Cascade Pacific Council’s Program and Training Conference this past week was that sometimes the leader/parent needs to step back and allow somebody else to come in and get a fresh look when dealing with your own scout when a meltdown or shutdown (in this case) happens.  So my wife Karen stepped in and talked to Justin.  

They had a very good talk (private) and then they came back to me and Justin was ready to roll up his sleeves and take on the task at hand.

How Amazing Injury was born...
The topic for this Troop Meeting was going to be First Aid. This is something Justin has done a lot of this past year, fortunately in training and not in practice! He helped run a First Aid Training station with me in April training new scouts, and he competed both the First Aid and Emergency Prep Merit Badges at summer camp so it was a positive that the topic was something he knew about.

Working backwards, he wanted to get the game down first and then work on the how the skills instruction would work to support the game. Justin quickly came up with the idea of having the scouts in patrols go around to stations to help identify and treat a particular injury.  Next the challenge was how to create a game where the scouts would learn but still have fun in the process.

The scouts can only do so many games based on a Jeopardy theme before one gets Jeopardy burnout (Justin’s thoughts).  He wanted the game to be interactive and fun.  

So as Justin was working on the details, Karen and I were talking about a show our family watches together called Amazing Race and one of us said, “it would be funny to give the scouts a roadblock”. A roadblock on the show is a task that one of the pair has to do in order to receive their team’s next clue. 

from the show
A smile came over Justin and the game “Amazing Injury” was born. All of the lack of self confidence he felt before was wiped away and replaced with enthusiastic exclamations, “this will be the best game we’ve ever had” and “the scouts are going to love this”, “this game will be epic”.  He spent the next hour working out the details, designing on his computer and making the “clue tickets”.

Amazing Injury - skills training and the game put into action

During skills instruction the following Monday, the troop assembled into their respective patrols.  Justin along with the help of the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) found enough scouts to do the training and that portion was very easy.

“Being in charge” of putting this portion of the meeting together, Justin was happy to “supervise”.  The trainers had a variety of First Aid skills that they were supposed to cover. At the bare minimum, they needed to cover the seven skills that were going to be part of the Amazing Injury game.

Skills instruction ended and the patrols broke into patrol meeting time. During this time, Justin needed to recruit “injured” people (he recruited most from within his patrol).  He had to find somebody who could show signs of choking, heat exhaustion, hypothermia, serious bleeding (forgot to bring the fake blood), a broken or sprained ankle, a broken arm and shock.

Justin then positioned each injured person around the room as the rest of the troop was receiving instructions.  At each station, the patrol would have to identify the injury (with the injured person improving but not saying anything) and then once they got it right, they would have to treat the person. If they identified the injury correctly and properly treated the person, they would get a ticket and they could go to the next station.

The first patrol to successfully complete all 7 stations would win a jumbo bag of Doritos that the patrol could share. (Never underestimate the incentive power of a bag of Doritos among a group of teens and pre-teens.)

The Game in action


I have to say (not just being a proud Dad) that the game was an Amazing hit. It seemed like most of the boys were engaged and the patrols were actively running from station to station in competition. They seemed to really have fun while at the same time being given a chance to practice what they learned about First Aid during the skills training.

It was fun seeing the boys treating the broken arm and ankle with their neckerchiefs, however it seemed, the person with the severe bleeding seemed to be get beaten up a bit much from putting pressure on his wound. The boys were having a ton of fun. 

I had one parent come up to me and say how impressive the game was (he had not known that Justin had put it together)and how this was the kind of game that teaches but at the same time entertains.  Justin overheard that and you could see the pride on his face from putting together a quality game.

During the game he did a great job leading it and supervising by walking among the stations making sure that injured people were really being treated. The previous negative self-talk questions like “what did he get himself into?” and “why am I the Patrol Leader?” had vanished and replaced with additional confidence from a challenge accomplished.

Things to take away 

1. Use of positive encouragement and words is important for all scouts but it is really needed for those scouts on the Autism Spectrum.

2. Taking a step back and finding out what the root cause of an issue is may result in a quicker solution or more positive outcome. What is the scout thinking or feeling?

3. If you can incorporate the scout’s special interest (in this case computers and graphic design) into scouting projects and tasks, try to do so whenever you can. Being in a more comfortable zone often helps produce better results and a happier scout.

4. Setbacks and failure are okay from time to time. We all had to fall on our bottoms many times when we learned to walk. The same holds true in many areas throughout life. But make sure you monitor the emotions and feelings of those that are having the setback or failure and let them know that you are there to listen, encourage and support. Negative experiences, especially to people who may have a tendency to be very hard on themselves can lead to real depression and that is not healthy for anybody especially those with an ASD.

5. Scouts really like to play games with prizes.  Guys like food prizes.  : )

6. Scouting is a great way scouts can learn leadership and can excel.

I again want o thank Justin for allowing me to share this story.  If you would like to share a story,  please e-mail me at autismandscouting@gmail.com or john@autismempowerment.org. Let me know if it is okay to post it on our Autism and Scouting Blog or Autism Empowerment website and if so, if you want us to edit out any information.

Accept the scouts for who they are and where they are! Enrich their lives by showing encouragement. Inspire them to “Do their best” that they can possibly be. (In this case, Justin inspired me along the way) and Empower them by giving them the tools and support to build self-sufficiency and confidence.

Autism Empowerment - http://www.autismempowerment.org
Autism Empowerment Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/autismempowerment
Autism and Scouting Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/autismandscouting

Twitter

Monday, November 7, 2011

Autism and Scouting BSA Training - Cascade Pacific Council

Grab Bag of Tricks for supporting Scouts with Autism, Attention and Sensory Processing Challenges was the name of the class and I am happy to report that it was a stunning success and even better then I could have even imagined.

The Cascade Pacific’s second Program & Training Conference was held on Saturday, November 5th in Beaverton, Oregon. The Cascade Pacific Council serves the Boys Scouts of America for Oregon and Southwest Washington. The final number in attendance for the Conference was 425 Scout Leaders and about 100 Staff and youth volunteers.  It was an amazing event and Jackie Dannemiller who coordinated the event was amazing at every step. 

Since I have a passion and I feel a calling to spread the values that scouting has to offer to those on the Autism Spectrum (I do feel that most on the Autism Spectrum can learn lifelong skills in scouting) and the fact that my wife and I founded Autism Empowerment (a non-profit 501 (c)(3) charity) this past June, when Jackie asked me to teach the class on Autism, Attention and Sensory Awareness, there was no way I could say no.

One of the programs within Autism Empowerment is a program called Autism and Scouting. In addition to this blog, our Facebook Page and Group as well as Twitter, we are looking to expand with many new educational programs dedicated to supporting scouts with ASD's, their parents and the scouting leadership.

Back to the event! The day started at 5:00 a.m. with a wake-up call. By 6:00 a.m., I had my Diet Pepsi in hand and was in the car for the 45 minute trip to Beaverton.  I have to admit, I had given some presentations to much smaller groups (who have no scouting experience) about the values that Scouting has to offer those on the spectrum but I had never given a training at the Council level and to leaders that I look up to. I was told earlier in the week that there were19 signed up for the noon class and 22 signed up for the 3:00 p.m. class. I was confident in the new presentation that  Autism Empowerment had designed for this training. Like a good scout I was prepared.

I got to Beaverton, the sun still had not come up yet and the high school that the training event was at was buzzing with activity. 

I quickly find “my” room and start to set up and after a little technical trouble, I was all good to go. After the opening flag by the Sea Scouts, I had some time to attend some training for myself.

                          

The first class that I attended was on the usage of Social Media in Scouting. I quickly realized the class was given by ScouterAdam and Jerry Schlenining. These are two outstanding scouters that I look to for some fantastic information. ScouterAdam does a blog called Scouter Adam and Jerry does an amazing job with his blog at The Scoutmaster Minute and his Podcasts at The Scoutmaster Minute. If you have not checked them out, you need to!

The class was well worth it and had great ideas and information for those units that are in cyberspace. A quick note, I wanted to attend Jerry’s other class later in the day about Scoutmaster Conferences but due to my own class could not attend. I am hoping next year! The other class I took before a quick lunch and prep time was Trail to Eagle (Life, Star and Eagle) and it was also very well done. 

My first class started at noon so I made sure I was in the classroom a half an hour early just to make sure all things were working. About twenty minutes til noon, the first people started coming in. The class that was supposed to be 19 turned out to have 25. It was an amazing class filled with passion, emotion and stories about how many leaders still don’t fully understand how to work with scouts with Autism Spectrum, Attention or Sensory Issues. I had one older scout leader (he had rows and rows of square knots) come up to me afterwards and told me that he had been coming to BSA training for almost twenty years and every time, he would pick up little bits of information to add to his years of experience but this class was the first one he attended in years that was completely new to him and he came away with a wealth of knowledge. I honestly felt humbled and honored by the comments. I had a request by another leader to come and do a local roundtable presentation to really be able to reach more of their direct leadership. I told him, I have car and will travel.

I did have some time between my two sessions and I was able to sit in on the Scouts with Disabilities and Special Needs class that was offered by the Council Special Needs Committee. They did a great job and I sure learned a lot. I did have to step out early to get back to my room but I was so glad that I was able to hear what I did. 

As I returned to the room, there were people already in the room. I was told to expect about 22, the final number was 32 (the max each class was supposed to have was 30). By the time we started this one, all of the chairs were taken, we had one on the floor and a few standing in the back. This was an amazing class as well. Tons of questions, more requests for additional training at the local level and tears by leaders with scouts trying to find a unit that gets their scout. There was so much passion in the room and it really was an amazing feeling that so many people can be touched. It really inspired me to make sure that all scouting leadership has the tools and skills to better serve those scouts with Autism Spectrum, Attention and Sensory Issues.

I also meet Dave Somann who is the Senior Ranger at one of the scout properties who also runs a program called Living for Life. This program allows kids with special needs to come and ride horses. I hope to get more information on this program and share it soon.

Many came up and thanked me for offering and teaching the class but I am the one that was thankful. I was thankful that our Council recognized the need for such training and offered this class to begin with.  I am thankful that all of our districts are filled with leaders that know the value that a class like this can offer. I am thankful and wish I could recognize all of the leaders that made a choice to come to the class that can have a direct and long lasting effect for the scouts within their units.  Thank you to all that came to this class.

It was an amazing day filled with laughter, tears and Autism Empowerment for all.         
        
We hope to soon have the presentation available both at the Autism Empowerment Autism and Scouting Page and on the Facebook page as well.

I have been asked to come back next year and it’s time to make it bigger and better. See you again on November 3rd, 2012.

If your unit or district would like me to come out and speak or do a short presentation at your roundtable or other event in the local area, please feel free to e-mail me at john@autismempowerment.org or autismandscouting@gmail.com

If you were at the event, please let me know as well any comments. We would love your feedback.



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Autism and Scouting and Autism Empowerment

Hello all, 

I know it has been awhile since I last blogged. I would like to get back more into the blogging habit.

Some exciting things are happening at Autism and Scouting. First, we now have 132 “likes” at the  Facebook page from countries all of the world and 149 members at the Facebook Group.  Please help us spread the word for both the page and the group, we would love to be at 150 Likes by the end of the year and 160 in the Group.

Facebook Page –  http://www.facebook.com/autismandscouting
Facebook Group - http://www.facebook.com/groups/121685817883439/

Thanks to all who have liked the Page and are members of the Group.

Next, I know I have mentioned that Karen and I started a non-profit corporation called Autism Empowerment and I was going to share more information. Well, today I wanted to take this chance to let people know more about this exciting new non-profit.  

We filed our incorporation paperwork with the State of Washington (USA) on June 3rd, 2011 and held our first board of directors meeting on June 21st, 2011 to chart the course forward.  The next step was to file the paperwork with the IRS to receive a tax exempt pubic charity designation of 501(C)(3) which we did on July 18th. On September 18th of this month Autism Empowerment received is 501 (C)(3) designation as a publicly funded charity.

Autism Empowerment is an educational and charitable 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, publicly funded non-profit corporation dedicated to enriching and empowering the lives of individuals and families affected by Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified (PDD/NOS) and related autism spectrum disorders.

By providing programs, projects, support and resources to individuals, families, caregivers and educators that promote acceptance, improve life skills and encourage self-advocacy and empowerment, we seek to support and inspire those on the autism spectrum to reach their highest potential.

The four foundational pillars of Autism Empowerment are: 

Accept, Enrich, Inspire, Empower.

Accept - We strongly promote the unconditional acceptance of those on the autism spectrum and with related disorders. By accepting each spectrum traveler for who they are, where they are, we are promoting both autism acceptance and autism awareness.
Enrich - Our goal is to provide educational resources, programs and tools to improve and enhance life skills for those on the autism spectrum as well as their families, caregivers, therapists and teachers. We aspire to make life more meaningful and rewarding.
Inspire - We dedicate ourselves to be a positive, uplifting organization that encourages and celebrates success in all individuals. We believe each person on the autism spectrum has the opportunity to make a positive difference in this world.
Empower - We strive to empower those on the autism spectrum to achieve a higher quality of life academically, emotionally, financially, socially and spiritually.

The website was just launched on October 31st, 2011 and here is the website:

www.autismempowerment.org

If you or anyone you know might like to support Autism Empowerment either financially or with an in-kind donation, we are a publicly funded charity and all contributions are tax-deductible.  We will soon be needing volunteers as well.


One of the programs that Autism Empowerment will be supporting is a program called Autism and Scouting which this blog, Facebook Page and Facebook Group will be part of. We are excited about Autism and Scouting being one of the Autism Empowerment programs and we look forward to bringing much more support to the families and leaders of those on the Autism Spectrum as well as direct support to the scouts.

Our plans for the future are to extend support to leaders of all different scouting organizations, develop an Autism and Scouting Resource Kit that will be coming in 2012 as well as create other programs for the future based on need, feedback and financial resources.

We believe that the scouting movement can benefit most of those on the Autism Spectrum because of the positive and inclusive atmosphere that scouting fosters.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you can email them to either:

john@autismempowerment.org or autismandscouting@gmail.com

You can also follow us on twitter at autismscouting or AutismEmpowermt

Thank you so much for all of your support and if we can help in any way, just let us know.

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