Re: Parents withholding information, et. al.
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 00:09:53 +0100
I work as a Special Ed. Aide in the jr. high. I am by no means an expert
on ADD or ADHD, but I do have some experience with people with ADD and
people with ADHD in and out of Scouts.
I know of a couple of situations with older boys who were off their meds,
working on their Eagle, and had some behavior problems. Some felt it was
the adults who had the problems. Some felt it was everybody unwilling to
view ADD as a disability who had problems. One made Eagle the other
ADD/ADHD are tricky. Kids 11-18 are going through a lot of natural
chemical changes. Throw in ADD or ADHD and they have more than they can
deal with. There are some kids who do ok without meds and there are many
who don't. It seems to take lots of parent support and lots of
determination on the part of the person with ADD/ADHD to MANAGE it. Some
don't have good family support, some just can't seem to manage themselves
without the chemical help. Puberty seems to be a time when lots of doctors
and parents choose to change the meds or their dosage or "try" no meds.
Some people have side effects from the ADD/ADHD meds and like to get off of
them for times like summer vacation. This is probably good. It gives the
kid the chance to try to manage it him/herself and the family a chance to
see if they can support him/her enough.
Unfortunately, it often does affect the troop. What I've known troops to
do when there is a boy with severe and, seemingly unmanageable ADD or ADHD,
on or off meds, is to require a parent to accompany him on every outing.
I've seen this work very well more than once. The parents want their son
to succeed, the boy wants to be with the troop and have fun but he doesn't
want to be out of control and obnoxious to his fellow scouts. The other
boys aren't sure they want him around because sometimes he does really
outrageous things (or doesn't do what they need him to do) and causes
trouble for the patrol/troop. The boy and his parents have a dynamic
concerning his behavior. The parents have the authority to take him away
I've known Cub Scouts who went off their meds for summer and came to Cub
Day Camp and, although ADD/ADHD was listed on the form but the absence of
meds wasn't, it only took till about noon Monday for us to figure out which
ones those were. If they were REALLY disruptive, the camp director had a
talk with the parents. We try to help empower the kids to be in control
and to work with them whenever we can.
I'm not intimately familiar with how the Boy Scout medical forms cover
ADD/ADHD. I should think that it would be listed on there somewhere.
Couldn't you (CC, SM or Summer Camp Coordinator) phone the parents of the
boys going to summer camp who are ADD or ADHD and ask what their plans are
This is a good topic to cover at Roundtables. Some Ethics in Action module
help demonstrate how people with disabilities feel. Leaders seem to always
be looking for better understanding of the mysterious ADD/ADHD.
In the Spirit of Scouting,
Robin Church Haeuser, Chair
Del Norte District Advancement Committee
Los Padres Council **** Atascadero, CA
Philmont 1997 (Philmont Phanatics)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City