Taking A Break From Boy Scouts

Taking A Break From Boy Scouts

raising an autism childMy son has hit a point where we think he needs a break from Boy Scouts.  He hasn’t passed a Scout Master Conference in a long time.  He won’t answer the questions, or demonstrate his ability to do a task that is asked of him.  He knows the answers, and he knows how to do the tasks.  He has done both outside of the Scout Master Conference, but has to do it in the meeting to pass.  Until he does that, he can not go up in rank.

My husband and I have decided that he needs a break from Boy Scouts.  My husband continues to go, since he is one of the assistant scout leaders.  My husband has also enlisted the help of another troop’s scout leader.  She works at my son’s school, and has started pulling him out of class to work with him.  She does this once or twice a week.  The skills that my son needs to demonstrate, and the questions he needs to ask, fall in line with things that they teach at school.

It is my hope that my son will return to Boy Scouts.  I know he enjoys being around the other boys, and he enjoys the camping trips.  I just think he needs a little break.  The Boy Scouts meet once a week, all year.  I think anyone would eventually need a break from that.  My husband and I have been considering this for awhile.  It’s not something we just up and decided to do.  We’ve talked about it for the last year, and have finally decided that it was time that we gave our son a break from the Boy Scout meetings.

I think he misses them, on some level.  I did notice that he gets a little upset when my husband leaves without him.  I don’t know if it’s because he has become accustomed to going with my husband, or he truly wants to go.  However, it doesn’t take him long to settle down after my husband leaves.  This leaves me to believe that he isn’t too unhappy about not going.  My son would throw a huge tantrum if he was extremely upset.

I don’t know how long a break we will give him.  I’m thinking about a month, maybe a little longer.  My husband and I are still discussing that.  We’ll keep an eye on my son’s reaction to not attending Boy Scout meetings.  We also ask him about how he feels about not attending the meetings.  So far, he hasn’t been able to articulate his feelings.  We’ll keep trying.

3 comments to Taking A Break From Boy Scouts

  • It may be that the Scoutmaster does not know how to handle him. You ask questions, you get answers or wait for the answers. You don’t want to flood the Scout with Questions knowing his situation.

    The Scoutmaster Conference is not a pass or fail event. It is to see how he is doing and to set goals for going forward, find out where he wants to be in the next six months, etc.

    • Tammy

      That’s not how they treat his Scoutmaster Conferences. But, to be fair, a lot of times my son doesn’t want to answer. He knows the answers, and has demonstrated that knowledge in the past. One of the big problems with a lot of autistic children is that they don’t understand why they need to answer a question when they know the person asking is aware that they know the answers. He did cooperate with the last conference, and made it to the next level. We were so happy for him.

  • Jennifer

    Oh Tammy, I laughed out loud about the chips. My son is verbal, but low function too, and the highlight of his camp last year was fishing too, this year was making mom – his patient tent mate- gag after eating beans. I’m an ASM and Committee Chair for our Troop, and we’ve effectively taken a break from Scouting (for him), I still go with my other son. He loves to camp, but not to sit down /or stand for teaching lessons. SO why fight a tidal wave? Sometimes we need a break. Tapping into what interests him about Scouts is the most important thing, tell my guy we are going to work on Cooking merit badge and he’s all over that, tell the kid who needs it for Eagle and the reception is not so hot.

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