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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Boy Scouts & Autism

Posted by on Apr. 21, 2013 at 6:03 PM
  • 88 Replies

I was wondering if any of you guys have your child in boy/cub scouts. 

DS is 6 and has high functioning autism. He's eligible to enter cub scouts this coming year and DH and I are debating if we want to do it. DS gets distracted easily and I worry he won't be able to focus during meetings. 

I don't really know what cub scout meetings entail, for instance, can a parent be there with their child during the meeting? 

I'm also nervous about how the other kids will treat DS. That's always my fear whenever we start something new and when there are NT children involved. I just don't want the other kids to shy away from DS because he's different. KWIM?

If any of you ladies have any additional info on the boy/cub scouts, that would be great! 

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by on Apr. 21, 2013 at 6:03 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mommytojoshua
by Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 6:11 PM

My son will be joining scouts this fall he is also six. My husband is an Eagle Scout which is the highest level of scouting. My husband be getting back into when my son signs up for it, I told my husband that was the only way my son joining scouts if he got back into it too. BTW my son has PDD-NOS and ADHD and is also easily distracted too. So maybe you could suggest to your husband to be become a scout leader when your son joins it will be a good bonding experience for them.

SnortysMom
by Cathleen on Apr. 21, 2013 at 6:12 PM

That sounds like a good idea. The only thing is, DH works from 2pm to 10pm and his only days off are Mondays and Tuesdays. He works at a prison so its sometimes hard to get time off. Maybe we can still somehow work something out. 

Quoting mommytojoshua:

My son will be joining scouts this fall he is also six. My husband is an Eagle Scout which is the highest level of scouting. My husband be getting back into when my son signs up for it, I told my husband that was the only way my son joining scouts if he got back into it too. BTW my son has PDD-NOS and ADHD and is also easily distracted too. So maybe you could suggest to your husband to be become a scout leader when your son joins it will be a good bonding experience for them.


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mommytojoshua
by Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Also that your son has someones there that knows him and it won't be so stressful for your son.

mommytojoshua
by Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Well if you have time you could do it with him too.


SnortysMom
by Cathleen on Apr. 21, 2013 at 6:23 PM

I'm gonna be a cub scout momma! lol. I think I may have to do just that. But first my husband and I want to talk to the local cub scout organization. Just so we can get more info for ourselves. 

Quoting mommytojoshua:

Well if you have time you could do it with him too.



darbyakeep45
by Darby on Apr. 21, 2013 at 7:41 PM

My son is too young, but we might check it out when he gets older!  Good luck mama:)

JTMOM422
by Brenda on Apr. 21, 2013 at 7:44 PM

I am hoping when ds turns 6 in another 3 years he will be able to join. I think its important to be part of a social group. I think you should give it a try

AnnaNonamus
by Bronze Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Not in Boy Scouts, but my daughter joined Girl Scouts 3 years ago. The only reason I let her join when she was invited, was because I found out from the teacher that the leader has an autistic son, and personally reached out to the teacher to extend an invite. I have since become co-leader of the troop and absolutely love it. 

That said- the leader has a lot to do with my daughters success in it. She knows when to push Gillian to try harder, and when to realize Gillian is just done with that and to let her have a moment alone, or whatever. 

There are a lot of program differences between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. In Girl Scouts, the organization recognizes that no two girls are the same. When you earn badges, there is an amount of leeway. The wording on earned badges states that the girl worked to the best of HER ability to earn the badge. Not the best of someone else's ability. 

I know in Boy Scouts, there is less leeway involved when earning, and it would really just boil down to the leader, and how comfortable that leader is with kids who have Autism. I would call the local program head (you should be able to find it in the phone book- not sure what BSoA call it, in GSUSA we call it a council), lay it out there, and ask for a recommendation on a good leader. 

Boy Scouts tends to be a little more strict in a lot of aspects, though. 

My autistic son never joined, and honestly, I am glad he didn't. I have just heard too many stories about leaders who have no patience. But, the same could be said of ANY organized club like that. 

I lucked way out with where Gillian landed. I know a lot of the other leaders in town now, and while I like them all, I don't know that Gillian would have survived another troop. 

kajira
by Emma on Apr. 21, 2013 at 8:30 PM

My son couldn't do boyscouts. It would be a nightmare for us. If he was just hyperactive with attention span issues, we could have made it work, but my son wouldn't have been able to follow directions or even wanted to do the activities they do.

He hates walking, hates getting dirty, hates being told what to do and that he has to be quiet and can't babble or talk non stop..... 

My son couldn't even handle public school - and even though we know the boyscout leader since it's our neighbor kids dad, he told us that while we could sign our kiddo up and he'd be more than willing to work with him, our son's attitude going into it would make it probably not work out.

i.e. our son acts disgusted when we talk about signing him up for it and throws a tantrum because his friends do it and have talked with him about what they do and he's anti-boyscouts after hearing about it from them.

Littledudesmomm
by Missy on Apr. 21, 2013 at 9:31 PM
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My DS (who will 9 in July) has been in cub scouts for two years. It's honestly the best thing we could of done for him. DH became a assistant den leader in DS's pack (DH was in the scouts as kid and was very excited when wanted to join too). All the leaders know that DS has PDD-NOS and ADHD, for the moment their the only ones that know (though I think some of the other mom's may suspect it).

I would suggest talk to a local pack leader. Maybe ask if you and your DS could sit in on some of the meetings to see how he will react to the group sitting. They may even be able to point to a pack that is small.

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