Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: Tourette's
Wed, 28 Oct 1998 13:03:17 -0500
<Ron said, snipped>
If someone engages in behavior to others, that behavior must be controlled.
[snip] Seems to me that this Scout (not all Scouts with Tourette's syndrome,
this Scout) endangers other Scouts. [snip] Regardless of the cause of the
young man's behavior, it has to be controlled, or the other parents will be
perfectly justified in removing their Scouts from the Troop.
You say that THIS particular Scout's behavior MUST be controlled regardless
of the cause of the behavior. What about the Scouts who were teasing him?
Their behavior wasn't particularly Scout-like, and it certainly had
something to do with Robby's behavior. I have spent many years working with
Scouts with ADHD in troops where they are a small minority. Children with
ADHD sometimes have a hard time controlling themselves (not an excuse),
especially when their fellow Scouts tease them. I haven't dealt with Scouts
with Tourette's, but I have looked at the diagnostic criteria. It seems to
me that Robby's reaction was pretty typical of a boy his age who is being
teased and has a hard time controlling HOW he reacts.
Was kicking someone the right way to deal with the situation? No. Could
something have been done to resolve the incident before Robby felt the need
to kick? Yes. Experience tells me that some boys will tease those who are
"different" simply to get a reaction. The more the other child reacts, the
more he will be teased. So, Robby is wrong for kicking another Scout. The
other Scout was wrong for teasing Robby in the first place. Both behaviors
(the resulting kick, and the teasing that caused the kick) need to be
Going further, and jumping to the defense of Tim Hewitt, the troop's
leadership in this case showed a complete and total lack of committment to
the unit. Yes, it is difficult dealing with children who have behavior
problems. As Tim has pointed out to me several times in the past, we aren't
all trained or capable of handling those problems. Tim believes that he has
the right to exclude a Scout if his behavior gets out of hand. Tim also
believes that he has a duty to exhaust every resource trying to help that
Scout before asking him to find another troop. Evidently, Tim is much more
in tune with his limitations than I am. In this case, the leaders asked
Robby to leave simply because they didn't WANT to deal with him. Not that
they COULDN'T deal with him. The fact that they were ready to quit at the
first sign of trouble tells me they didn't really want to be there in the
A. J. Mako, email@example.com , Scoutmaster Troop 381
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