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Cubs/Autism ?

(6 Posts)
cyberseraphim Thu 22-Apr-10 11:08:36

Does anyone have experience of a child with autism being included in Beavers/Cubs ? Someone mentioned this to me but I am wondering how it really works - DS1 has only limited language and slowly increasing receptive understanding. (a) Would he get anything out of it ? and (b) What are attitudes likely to be once they see that he has language/learning difficulties as well as autism ?

Clumsymum Thu 22-Apr-10 14:25:25

Cyber, I think it would depend on the pack that you choose.

DS has been in Beavers and cubs, and they have welcomed in a couple of children with disabilities very well, one who is profoundly deaf, and one with pretty severe ADHD behaviour, which our leaders have coped with well, and enthusiastically. The deaf boys parents take it in turn to attend meetings, so they can sign for him (altho cubs have started to learn BSL so they can help him too), and our cub pack paid for them to get CRB checks, so they can help out on camp etc (they help with all the kids, not just their own son).

But my guess is that it would depend very much on the leaders, and the size of the pack, you would be best visiting the packs nearest you to talk to them first. The scouting association generally is trying to be as inclusive as possible.

What your DS would get out of it depends on him and you. If he can socialise, then obviously it is an advantage in that he meets new children. He can start to earn badges for some of the activities, so he would know he's achieving. Our packs go on visits (RAF Scampton to meet the Red Arrows recently), hikes, camp (one or 2 night camps only in beavers/cubs, longer once they reach scouts), basically it would just broaden his life experiences.

You/your DS would be able to go along to 2 or 3 meeting without committing to buying uniform or anything, to see how it suited you, worth a try.

Hope that helps.

magso Thu 22-Apr-10 15:16:54

Ds has LD with ASD/ADHD and has attended beavers and now cubs. He likes company but his language (both receptive and expressive) were very limited when he started but he was able to copy the other children to some extend. He struggles at times but adores the badges not fully understanding why he cannot always have one! In beavers I stayed with him (withdrawing to the background when he was coping) now 10 I often leave him once the formal part of the fun begins, and return slightly early so I can listen to the notices. The structure to the meetings help ( and the shortish time span). His pack have been very accommodating - allowing ds to photograph rather than write about road signs for instance for his traffic badge (ds cannot read/write) or acepting photographs of participation in water sport/ horse riding when he cannot do written tests. So I would say attitude and flexibility are all important. Ds could not memorise the promise but was able to repeat 'promise' and 'queen' back! He attended camp on a day basis and joins in most activities - even the night hike.
As to what he gets out of it - well fun and exersise with nt children!

cyberseraphim Thu 22-Apr-10 15:34:32

Thanks for such useful replies and sorry for accidentally creating a doppelgänger thread !

mikethemalesurrogatemum Sat 29-Sep-12 06:59:58

as a Cub Leader of 4 years I can tell you that the Scout association and the majority of leaders within it have very positive attitudes towards to equal opportunities. I used to have a little lad with autism and adhd in my pack, and I found that he flourished more at Cubs than he did anywhere else. I think any activity is possible for your son to do and if they're decent leaders at his pack they'll do whatever they can to accomodate him. The district has an allocated Special needs advisor who will come down and offer advice if the leaders feel it necessary, but the MOST important thing you can do 1st, is give the leaders as much info about his autism as possible. After all you're his parent, you know him best and a.s.d's exhibit themselves very different between people who have it. The biggest problem I've had as a leader is where parents don't tell me for fear of exclusion, and that makes it harder to accomodate as you're "guessing" half of the time as how to deal with any issues that arise. Fair do's I coped pretty easily without the need to contact the special needs advisor, but I work as a p/t childminder and provide respite care a few days a month for parents with children who have a.n's. Speak to the leaders and i'm sure you'll be fine. smile

willowthecat Sat 29-Sep-12 13:14:40

I think this is quite an old thread but thanks for such detailed info. This is something I should look into for ds1

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