I wonder if any other parents are having problems with their Aspi youngsters joining the ACF. There appears to be a lot of discrimination in Wales, not from instructors or leaders of local groups who do a fantastic job, but the 'top dog'. If you are honest on the application form your Aspie is in danger of being kicked out of cadets, if you aren't honest they won't be getting necessary info and your child may suffer. Cadets is the perfect environment for Aspies, they have such a lot to give/offer and can be a posative addition -once the head honcho can get over the word 'aspergers'.
I've always been open about disclosure, what are their policies on disability discrimination and what are the issues that the 'top dog' is raising in contrast to the inclusion practised by the local leaders? Would NAS be any use as support?
ACF rules on disability are open to interpretation : The Cadet Commandant, who is responsible for the conduct of safe training, has
the ultimate responsibility to decide whether or not to accept a disabled individual into the
ACF in accordance with the following guidelines:
a. All reasonable efforts must be made to facilitate the social inclusion of the
disabled in the ACF. What is reasonable is a matter of judgment and should take
into account the level of disability in relation to the likely practicability, resources
available and cost of any necessary adjustment to accommodate the individual,
and the likely effectiveness of any adjustment in relation to the individual.
b. In order to include a cadet with an acknowledged/registered disability
wherever possible, it may be necessary to review the syllabus or specific activity to
be conducted. However, the syllabus should not be so changed that it unreasonably
distorts the normal and generally acceptable activity of the able-bodied cadets
trying to complete their training.
c. ACF adults are not trained to be specialist carers. They cannot accept
responsibility to care for a disabled person, over and above their normal duty
of care responsibilities to all cadets, as they have neither the training nor the
resources to fulfil such a role. Cadet Commandants should liaise with their local
authorities if advice, extra funding, care workers or resources are needed to enable
a disabled young person to participate. Moreover, it must be made clear to parents/
guardians and where necessary, to local or national authorities, that the ACF is a
voluntary youth movement and that its officers and AI are primarily youth leaders
None of this really applies to my 13 yr old, but top-dog keeps trying to insis my son would need 1:1 instruction on camp (tosh, he's been on 2 weekend camp and did brilliantly well) and originally they said he'd need his own private sleeping acc (enforced segregation!). He has a habit of squeezing his neck (many adults do it as well) but he leaves bruises. It started out as a reaction to stress, 3 yrs later it is a bad habit, but, according to Autism team, a harmless one. However because the habit leaves bruises it is seen as self-harm. Mencap are helping sort the problem out, but the destructive ACF behaviour is beyond belief 'yes you can go on summer camp' 'no you can't' 'yes you can' and finally 'no you can't' - talk about destroying self- confidence and self-esteem. All his friends are going, but he's been excluded. Topdog declines to meet my son and interview him etc. Just wondered if any other parents had similar probs. I know another ASD child in Wales has to take a carer on camp. Wouldn't mind if it was 2 weeks surrounded by big boys in green, but joking aside topdog is being a pratt. Thanks for reply.