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ACF (army cadets) and Aspergers

(5 Posts)
Battleworn Fri 03-Aug-12 12:28:59

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'.

FallenCaryatid Fri 03-Aug-12 12:48:18

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?

Battleworn Fri 03-Aug-12 13:48:08

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.

FlappingToad Thu 29-Nov-12 21:09:42

I have just had a phone call from my devastated dd tonight. She and another lad have been banned from cadets on the grounds that they are 'uninsurable'.

They have both been attending for some months now and both paid their subs last week.

They are both intelligent young people, deeply responsible and were very keen to learn. They are both in tears tonight wondering what they have done wrong.

I am too angry to write coherently. angry

Jeeves93 Tue 23-Dec-14 17:50:46

I know this is an old thread however I felt I should post anyway.

I am sorry you were given the answer you were given. It is not true. For starters, Cadets are not insured in the traditional sense. The MOD provides indemnity for all cadets eligible for enrolment. There is nothing to say that those with aspergers are not eligible therefore they are "insurable" for all intents and purposes.

Aspergers is classed as a disability and are rules for this are quite clear as far as I am concerned: if the individual can be included without much effort then they can take part.

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