Re: Scouters, Social Workers, Counsellors ...
Ian N Ford FRSH (addvent@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Thu, 13 Aug 1998 22:31:13 +0100
On Wed, 12 Aug 1998, Anthony Mako wrote:
> <You Said>
> There's a really great kid in my pack (no, not just one<g>). He is numbed
> beyond belief, I do not know with what. When he gets his dose, he may as
> well be at home in bed, because it knocks him flat out. When he perks up
> late in the day (just before the next dose), he has a quick, dry sense of
> humor, the kind I might have if I was with an all adult group (not a side of
> me that the scouts see). I almost think he is mature beyond his years or
> exceptionally smart, because he makes comments and remarks (about things
> that occur around us) almost as fast as they pass thru my mind. He will do
> anything I ask him to do and do it the first time just like the rest of the
> Webelos II's. He gets along fine with the other scouts.
> </You Said>
> What you aren't seeing is what this boy is like unmedicated. You have seen
> what he's like ON medication, and what he's like coming off medication. My
> experience shows me that kids who are medicated for conditions like ADHD are
> often at their best when the drug is wearing off. Does that mean the drug
> isn't necessary? That's not for me to decide.
The Scouters need to feed this information back to his parents.
Medication should NOT have that effect ... it is possible that he needs
to have the dose adjusted by his doctor. The idea is to control
impulsivity and focus attention, not to act as a sedative.
> Perhaps you should talk to them about why he's taking medication. I can't
> stress this enough! Each Scout should have a completed medical form on file
> with the troop. The medical history of the Scout is supposed to be reviewed
> by the adult leaders before each major activity. It's important for each
> adult leader to know what medical problems a Scout has (if any), what
> medications he needs for these problems, and what to do if there are
> complications while on the outing. If you don't take the time to inform
> yourself about the physical condition of each Scout, you are opening the
> door for a potential disaster.
> One of my co-workers has a daughter who has asthma. When we recently had a
> discussion about how to handle medical problems on outings, she told us how
> her daughter went on a Girl Scout campout and had a severe asthma attack.
> Instead of giving the girl her inhaler when the attack started, the adult
> leaders waited until she was turning blue before calling her mother. Then
> they insisted on taking the girl home instead of to the hospital, which is
> where she ended up. If the adult leaders had been aware of the medical
> condition and knew what to do if a problem arose, they wouldn't have
> endangered this girl's life.
* The girl should have had her inhaler with her and a spare held by the
adult designated as being in charge of medications / first aid.
* Asthma affects maybe 1:7 kids in UK - presumably the statistics in USA
are similar. <Every> youth worker ought to be aware of what to do about
this common but sometimes life-threatening emergency. If I am teaching
first aid on SMF I make sure every adult knows what to do.
* We should encourage kids with hidden medical conditions to wear medical
alert necklaces / bracelets.
* We need to train our members to deal with this ... I teach my Cub
Scouts how to treat asthma attacks. That way their buddy can sit them down,
reassure them and send someone to find an adult.
* Most asthmatics have " preventer " inhalers that need to be taken. Some
younger kids may need supervision. ( In UK we can now have six year-old
Beaver Scouts on over-nighters, so this will be an issue for trainers
to address as part of the certification for Sleepover Leaders.) Adults
need to know which inhaler is which. In UK the inhalers for <treating>
asthma are blue, and <preventers> are usually brown or cream.
> For the record, the cut-down "Why don't you go take your pill?" has been
> around for ages. I was the target of those words when I was on medication,
> several friends of mine also heard those words directed toward them. And,
> during a time when I was less likely to think before opening my mouth, I can
> remember saying those same words. It seems to me that the rest of your
> Scouts need to understand the reason someone takes a medication, and why
> it's not a joke. But I have to ask: why would other kids pick on him for
> taking a pill if he shows no signs he needs a pill? Unless the fact he has
> to take a medication is advertised by the adults and pill-taking time
> becomes a public opportunity to ridicule the boy...
Again we are talking about " safe haven ". We need to have a climate
where we can be open about individual differences. It also means teaching
kids to have coping strategies ... e.g. the response to the question is
" Thank you for reminding me, but its not time yet. "
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City