Re: Eagle Scout & the "disability"requirement ref. 18 YOA
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Thu, 7 Nov 1996 20:56:29 +0000
On Thu, 7 Nov 1996, Mark Wilson wrote:
> Subject: Re: Eagle Scout & the "disability"requirement ref. 18 YOA
> But.... What I really see here is someone who is trying to subvert the system
> to make up for a lack of planning and effort. I'm not saying the kid isn't
> really diagnosed ADHD (my personal opinions on this so called disability are
> not germain to this list).
Mark, your personal opinions are quite apparent when you talk about ah/hd
as " so called disability " and refer to it as a " popular " condition.
Is AD/HD popular ? Certainly the people I know in support groups wouldn't
say so. If anybody finds a cure for AD/HD I don't think many of would
choose to keep it - I certainly wouldn't.
AD/HD is a medical condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, DSM-IV. It is recognised
under the Americans with Disabilities Act and for education purposes under
IDEA. At least, that is my understanding of US law from the other side of
The current " Advancement Policies & Procedures Committee Guide " details
the procedure on page 21. " The medical condition of all candidates for
membership beyond the normal registration age must be certified by a
physician licensed to practice, or an evaluation statement must be
certified by an educational administrator. "
> You didn't say several things that could alter my opinion. 1) How close the
> boy is to 18. 2) How much progress he has made to date on his project. 3) Of
> the three MBs, are there any with finite time requirements that cannot be
> met in the time left. If he is real close and we are talking only a brief
> delay, more lattitude should be allowed, especially if there were delays
> beyond his control. If he hasn't even started on his project (you
> don't have to have all the MBs prior to starting the project), the lack
> of effort should yeild a lack of tollerance for his "problem."
Again, " problem " in quotes and an assumption that what we are seeing is
a " lack of effort " ... Maybe you have no idea just how much " effort "
is involved in trying to cope with AD/HD. I can speak from experience. I
have to read a page of text at least three times before it sinks in. At
school I regularly spent five hours a night doing homework which was
supposed to take three. I'm not stupid - at least not if you count a
measured IQ in the top 3% of the population - but it is still a lot of
effort. And I am fortunate in that I am not one of the 50% or more of
people with AD/HD who have an additional learning disability such as
dyslexia to cope with.
Maybe this Scout is already putting in above average effort just trying
to pull his academic work together, and trying to fit Scouting in on top.
Maybe he is having trouble with merit badges that require written reports,
e.g. Environmental Science, particularly if his problem has only been
Any Scout who has attained Life rank has already made a substantial
effort, so lack of motivation is probably not the issue. What is a
problem is sustaining motivation, dealing with details, personal
organization etc., all of which are vital to an Eagle project, and all of
which are, <by definition> problematic for people with AD/HD.
You are entitled to your opinion, of course. In my case my opinion is
based on 42 years of living and coping with AD/HD, during which time I
got a first degree in education and psychology, a postgrad qualification
in healthcare management and acreditation as a Social Work Practice
Teacher. I am about to have a paper on AD/HD published in a peer-reviewed
psychiatric journal, and it will probably be the subject of my thesis for
the Master's degree in psychology which I am working on. As a Member of
the American Psychological Society and of the (UK) Association of Workers
for Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties I try to keep up
with the literature on current developments. I am also a qualified youth
leader with 25 years as a Scouter, often dealing with young people with
EBD, SLDs and of course AD/HD. As you say, your mileage may differ ...
Ian N Ford BA DMS C.Pers. FRSH
Trainer/Committee Member, Channel District, Transatlantic Council BSA
Member, North Thames CHCs Working Group on Child & Adolescent Mental Health
Committee Member, South London ADD/ADHD Support Group
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City