robin burns (jburns@EROLS.COM)
Thu, 1 May 1997 23:38:14 -0400
I am an Assistant Scoutmaster of a troop of 22 boys. My wife is the
Committee Chair. We are faced with the problem of how to deal with a
scout who is defined by the doctors as "high functioning autistic" and
who is mainstreamed at school.
In a nutshell, we are having problems getting this boy to accept
leadership responsibilities or responsibility of any sort. He is
extremely bright, if not too friendly and he made it through to First
Class in good order and with out raising too many eyebrows, but his
Boards of Review for Star and Life were murder on all concerned. He has
never done anymore in his leadership roles than wear the sleeve patch.
His father (also the Scoutmaster) has consistently done all the work for
I handled his Scoutmaster Conference for Life last week. When I
questioned him on what he had learned as Troop Scribe, he said,
"Nothing." When I questioned him on who had performed the duties of
Troop Scribe over the last six months, he told me that he had. This in
spite of the fact that his father took the troop record book at every
meeting and took attendance and collected dues. The first few times I
noticed what was happening, I thought that the father was teaching the
boy how to do the job, since the boy was right there. But in the last
month the boy makes no pretence of learning, he goes and plays by
himself while his father does the work.
I chickened out at this point and passed the buck to the Troop
Committee. At his Board of Review tonight he not only repeated his lie
about performing his duties, he also responded to a question about
helping younger scouts by claiming that it was a waste of time to help
anyone, that you should only help yourself.
[Un]Happily the Committee called his father in to discuss the problems
with the boy. The decision to promote him is on hold until the father
and the committee can come up with some tangible goals that the boy can
reach. Can anyone come up with any suggestions for leadership goals for
this boy. We have some ideas, but we need to tap the accumulated wisdom
of all of you out there.
Troop number witheld for obvious reasons
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City