Re: Parents withholding information, et. al.
Steven G. Tyler (sgtyler@EROLS.COM)
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 10:51:27 -0400
Ron Raab-Long wrote, in part:
> 1. How to deal with parents (not registered leaders) that don't provide the
> information a troop/pack needs to serve their sons properly. This could be
> the fact that their child is on ADD medicine, was taken off of medicine, has
> a learning disability, is illiterate, has serious allergies, or whatever.
Well, first I'd be sure the unit is diligent in ASKING the parents --
more than just asking them to fill in the routine medical info on the
back of the form. If the unit hasn't asked directly, it has little room
to complain if the parents didn't go out of their way to have their son
labeled as ADD, "drug user," etc. Don't think that matters? Ask the
parents of ADD kids sometime, or read some of the comments on the list!
If the "omissions" are chronic, a simply-worded, non-judgmental
statement on the importance of candidly disclosing any
behavioural/medical conditions to the unit leadership should be provided
at signup. It should make it clear that the unit welcomes ALL boys, but
the unit needs to know of any special conditions to make appropriate
adjustments and avoid placing the boy in a no-win situation.
Next, if a boy displays unusual behaviour, contact the parents and ask
if there's any explanation, medical or otherwise. Again, a
non-judgmental approach works best
> 2. What to do with Scouts and Cubs whose medical, mental, or developmental
> problems manifest themselves as behavioral problems. Specifically, what do
> you say to the Scout who punches your AS because his parents told him to
> leave his medicine at home.
Let's be clear: the Scout did not punch the AS "because his parents told
him to leave his medicine at home," he did so because he was unable or
unwilling to restrain himself. Would the medicine have helped?
Presumably, yes, but even with medication, ADHD kids are often a
What to do? Hold the Scout accountable, of course! Whatever the
reason, hitting the AS was unacceptable. The only difference I can see
in how an ADHD kid would be treated is with a bit more understanding
that self-control may be harder for one with ADHD, much as you would be
a bit more sympathetic and supportive of the "runt" of the unit trying
to scale a climbing wall.
Assuming the unit has done its part to identify the boys with special
conditions, and doublechecked with the parents where such identification
might have been "missed," the next step would be counseling the boy and
his family. Where the unit can accommodate the boy within its program,
great! Where the boy and/or his parents need to provide a certain level
of support (commitment to avoid certain acts, provide medication or
parental supervision, etc.), obtain their commitment. If the needs of
the boy exceed the ability of the unit to make reasonable
accommodations, or if the boy or his parents are unable/unwilling to
make the necessary commitment, it may be necessary for the boy to be
placed with a special-needs unit, one with the necessary support and
expertise to deliver the promise to this boy. Such placement should be
exceedingly rare, however, and used only as a last resort.
Good luck, and PLEASE stress that these boys are not lepers, and CAN
almost always be successfully accommodated if the unit is willing!
Steve on Cattail Creek
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City