View Poll Results: What do you think about the resources available to support Special Needs in Scouting?

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  • There are enough, good resources available now.

    17 19.10%
  • The resources available are good, but there are not enough.

    52 58.43%
  • There are not enough resources and they are of a poor standard.

    20 22.47%
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Thread: Special Needs Scouting

  1. #31
    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
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    Try your local authority, West Berkshire has a Autistic Development Worker, part of her job is to advice local organizations on Aspergers Syndrome. I arranged for her to give a short talk one evening on Aspergers Syndrome to the leaders and helpers in the district. She arranged for parents of a cub to attend the evening to answer questions. It was very useful with lots of tips and things to look out for that aren't covered on the factsheet from Scoutbase.

    My son had just been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at the point where I joined the troop as an ASL. I organized the talk following a summer camp where the SL at the time thought he knew better how to manage my son's condition than I did! So I do understand the difficulty you are having.

    On a more practical note, have you considered going to the Jamboree for a weekend before it starts as part of the build crew? This would allow you to have a look round before it gets crowded. This might help you with the typical Asperger's problem of finding unfamiliar situations difficult.

    One problem I have noticed with the Special Needs advice from headquarters, training courses (module 36) and on this notice board is that when you ask for advice on specifics such as what activities are appropriate for a wheelchair user, the usual reply is that "you should adapt your existing programme or game". This I found to be particularily unhelpful as what I and I suspect most leaders want in this situation is a set of examples which other leaders have found to work. When you first gain a Scout with a special need with which you are unfamiliar progamme examples, games and tips appropriate to their needs are very useful for the first few weeks until you gain more understanding of their abilities.

    I think it would be very useful to setup a database or forum for the various special needs with tips, appropiate games or things to definately avoid could be listed. My first tip for Asperger's Syndrome is to distribute the menu for a camp well in advance to all of the campers. Then encourage the parents to try out the foods with their Scouts, I have found that this reduces the cases of Scouts refusing to eat unfamiliar food.

    All the best with the Jamboree,

    Nick

  2. #32
    Account Closed Raksha's Avatar
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    Katie, you have a private message

  3. #33
    Senior Member katierose33@hot's Avatar
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    Thanks NinthSkip-Replied

    Another tip- Have visual timetables!!
    1st Cleobury Mortimer Scouts (ASL)
    1st Park Gate Cub's (ACL)

  4. #34
    Senior Member Biscit's Avatar
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    Not all aspergics are alike, I know one who will eat anything.

  5. #35
    Senior Member katierose33@hot's Avatar
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    I am not to bad on texture in the mouth just clothes lol!! Although, I hate it if I get told I am having ***** for tea then it gets changed to """"""""""!
    1st Cleobury Mortimer Scouts (ASL)
    1st Park Gate Cub's (ACL)

  6. #36
    Senior Member derekchambers's Avatar
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    Generally I am not thaat involved with Special Needs but I am currently dooing an IT course for a special needs group and I must admit there are not enough resouvres. Luckily my ASL is very experienced with special needs and inclusion and our district have a special needs advisor so it has been made eassier

    Derek
    Derek Chambers,

  7. #37
    Senior Member Biscit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekchambers View Post
    Generally I am not that involved with Special Needs but I am currently doing an IT course for a special needs group and I must admit there are not enough resources. Luckily my ASL is very experienced with special needs and inclusion and our district have a special needs advisor so it has been made easier
    One thing that's just popped into my head (echoing Matt's comments) is that everyone is different, we all have our special needs. Sadly it seems many seem to have a very narrow definition of what constitutes "normal"- not accusing anyone, just stating my experience.

    In my Explorer Unit we counted at the last census 5 out of 22 members had conditions that could be termed a disability or a long term illness, but I doubt any of the other leaders could name all five. Actually come to think of it I would have to sit down with a membership list.

    This is not to say that the others are ignorant of the needs of their fellow leaders and explorers, just that we are all treated as people with our own individual charactaristics. Many of the disabilities will go under the radar, yet we cope with each other on our own level.
    Last edited by Biscit; 06-03-2007 at 12:01 PM.

  8. #38
    Senior Member derekchambers's Avatar
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    i agree everyone is different we probably have out of 40 members around 10 that could be termed a disability or a long term illness, yet we have only officially been told of 2. We also generally find that those that dont do well at school because of this are excellent cubs/scouts and love the practicle side of the program we do like kayacking, climbing, archery etc
    Derek Chambers,

  9. #39
    Senior Moments Penny E's Avatar
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    Even though we have several Special needs kids the most challenging problem for me has been ADHD because of the impact it has on the behaviour of the rest of the Cub Pack. I can't remember if there is an SA factsheet, but if there was, it wasn't any help at all! I have learned by trial and error to cope with the outbursts that come with ADHD, but I could have done with a far better set of "coping strategies" from the start.

    For those who remember my question about the Downs boy we wanted to admit to Beavers ... He has been with us for a term, and it has been a complete success. He is totally integrated in the Colony and the other children adore him. Best of all, his confidence has rocketed, so he has begun to interact far better with his peer group at school, and has been making huge leaps academically. His parents and the teachers are staggered at what a difference there has been in him.

    However, my favourite observation is that he is now seen to be "more normal" by other parents, and I believe he has even had a couple of tea invitations, which certainly wasn't the case before.

    My Beaver leader deserves a medal for this one.

    Penny E

  10. #40
    aka "Old Battle Axe" tomahawk's Avatar
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    i personally would find it useful to have a "checklist" of things I might need to consider for differently abled children - like a list of things I should remember to ask the parents about.

    At Beavers level, many of the children are newly diagnosed or in the process of being diagnosed, so its very hard for the parents to admit that there is a probem and they often downplay the issues. ("oh he can be a bit unruly" - child bounces off the walls!) Being able to say "many children with dyspraxia are XYZ...does that apply to your child?" would be useful as a way of opening discussions because the parents may not actually be very forthcoming with the information.

    Also, there doesnt seem to be much information on the emotional impact that the disbility has on the child - low self esteem, agression, depression, behavioural problems etc. It would be useful to understand how feeling different is not the same as feeling special, and how we can help the children boost their self esteem, control their aggression etc.

    Tourettes may also be a useful guideline to have.

  11. #41
    Michael Shanks shankers's Avatar
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    Thanks for your continued comments - sorry I haven't added here for a while.

    I am still keen to hear your views, and I have taken on board your suggestions about new factsheets.

    If I have got it right, most of you think that some factsheets are useful (although some should be changed) but also a lot of situations can't be helped by factsheets (specific to the situation).

    Any ideas how we can improve our collection?


    Michael
    Special Needs Support Team
    http://www.scoutbase.org.uk/ps/sneeds/

  12. #42
    Its only an hour a week.. RedSquirrel's Avatar
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    great debate shankers...i have sent you a long winded email so i apologise in advance!!!

    im with you all on the idea that we should be a ble and willing to create and change a programme to fit a special or extra need but many leaders and helpers nedd to have readable resouces in order to take in the info about a condition. I have had many youngsters through beavers with mild learning conditions and some with severe problems, but they are all beavers and scout memebers.my own son has several medical and learning conditions which make him who he is, but he is practicaly an explorer ( apart from the fact he is 5) as he knows more about scouting than most of our scouts!!!
    im lucky enough to have just done a degree in the field and i work full time for a specialisy college so im always on a course or reading a new descriptive about some new condition. what we ( as leaders ) really need is to know who to call and where to email for each county/area. if your group/survey shankers can highlight that then we might get somewhere...

    as for the jamboree, it should be well adapted, im working with the special needs teams and i will post a link to this thread with my head of department..
    There's no such thing as bad weather...just the wrong clothing

  13. #43
    Senior Member katierose33@hot's Avatar
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    UPDATE:

    I emailed my contingent leaders explaining it all! Anyay got a phone call from one of the leadership saying that her sister is also Apspergic so it wont be a problem she then went on to say that I was to let her know what triggered the overloads. Any way shes waiting on CSU (I think the Contingent Support) to find out where the qiet areas are going to be. We are also seeing if we can get on the flight earlier! So things are looking up
    1st Cleobury Mortimer Scouts (ASL)
    1st Park Gate Cub's (ACL)

  14. #44
    Its only an hour a week.. RedSquirrel's Avatar
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    katie, you can request ( or the leaders can) an early entry on to the plane and you should be allowed to have a first exit too...
    There's no such thing as bad weather...just the wrong clothing

  15. #45
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    We always get on the plane first with my son (he is high functioning autism) and we try to sit by the exit door so we can get off first. The problem with getting off is that despite the seatbelt lights being on, passengers get up to get their bags and you can't get through the scrum to get off first unless you are by the exit.

    Worth asking which exits will be opening on landing as some airlines filter everyone off through one door (usually Ryanair and Thomsonfly)

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