Aspergers at Beavers(8 Posts)
I help out at Beavers, we usually have about 20-25 along on a night, all 6-8 years old.
One of the children has been diagnosed with Aspergers (in fact, he's one of three at various places on the spectrum plus another going through assessment) and we're struggling with him.
We really want to him to still be able to come along but he's becoming quite disruptive, and it's starting to get to the point where it's negetively affecting the other children.
We try to have activities that he and others will enjoy if they're not up for team games, and will also try to have quiet moments or activities if he's getting over-excited but we can't always have the one-to-one attention he often needs.
We're going to see if one of his parents can come along with him every evening meet-up, a step up from coming along on every outing, but I'd be very grateful for any suggestions from anyone on anything else we can try. His parents are lovely people and I'm friends with his mum, and I'll see if I can have a chat with her later too.
Is it possible to get an extra helper along on the nights when the programme will particularly need it?
Chat to the parents and find out if there are any specific triggers, or whether he will react better to certain methods of control/discipline.
HAve you got older scouts/Explorers attached to your group who may be able to help on a one-to-one basis (perhaps for Queens Scout/Duke of Edinburgh Award Service)?
I have a Brownie with Aspergers in my pack and DS's Cubs includes two children on the Autistic Spectrum.
Our local authority has some funding available to provide one-to-one support for these children at out of school activities. It's great as it gives the children full support to take part in activities that they might otherwise miss out on. Well worth investigating.
I would try to avoid asking his parents to stay at every meeting if it can be avoided, but I would talk to the parents about coming up with a plan as to how he can be best included.
Do you have a pack behaviour policy in place for all beavers?
Do you have anyone in the wider beaver community who can offer support and advice?
What about trying to recruit a young leader - a scout/explorer doing their DofE - that can be their 'friend?
Thanks for the replies.
We've had a young leader with us since Christmas and she's been great. I think she's trying to see if there's another YL who can come along from September too.
I had a chat with the mum and either she or the dad will come along, possibly just temporarily, to help out generally, freeing up one of us to really get to figure out what works best. I'm hoping they'll be able to give us some ideas. So you think that could be problematic Sirzy?
I'm not sure yet if there's any district / county help we could get, but I'm curious ReadytoOrderSir, what did your funding grant actually go towards - was it specific time for someone to come in?
The funding pays for someone to be there 1 1/2 hours each week as one-to-one support. It's applied for by the parents from the local authority to support extra-curricular activities, so not limited to Guiding or Scouting.
It means that our Brownie gets an extra pair of hands when we're doing crafts (which she finds hard owing to her dyspraxia) and she has someone with her when she needs reassurance about what's happening next, or there's been a change of plan, which she finds hard to cope with sometimes.
One thing thing which has really worked well for her, separately from this extra support, is that she really needs to know what's happening next. We make sure that her parents have the term's programme ASAP and that they know first of any changes (eg if there will be different leaders for any reason). We let her know what the activities will be and a rough running order, as she finds uncertainty very difficult. When we've been on outings, we've given her as much advance info as possible: even photos of previous pack holidays at the same location so that she could see it before arrival.
Could you do that for your Beavers?
We've only once had a major meltdown from her and that was triggered by something on the way to Brownies outside our control. Having a professional on hand to focus on supporting her enabled us to get on with the meeting for the rest of the Brownies, and bring her in when she was ready.
In our area, Kids have projects were they work hard to get people with SEN/D into mainstream activities in their area, and have been very supportive of Scouting. It tends to be a 12 week promise, where a volunteer comes and works alongside the leaders, getting to know the child, modelling stuff and suggesting strategies. They will often make something like a visual timetable for you, if that is something that works with the particular child.
Have to agree I'd try to avoid asking the parents to come every week, too - after all, none of the other children's parents have to come. Would definitely seek out a YL to come and help as an alternative.
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