Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Scout with Autism
Re: Scout with Autism
Wed, 8 Dec 1999 09:28:00 -0500
Be careful if the troop is
> too much of a "sitting" and in "too small a place" troop.
Agreed. But I'd also recommend a small troop. Many autistic kids have
prosopagnasia (face blindness - can't distinguish the features on one
person's face from those on another's). A large troop will be a sea of
faces, most of whom the autistic Scout will not be able to reliably
recognize. An autistic woman I know compared recognizing people to
recognizing toads. She said most people think one toad looks just like
another, but toads know each other. She sees other people just like
most of us see toads - they all look just alike - no matter if one has
black hair, a thin face and a peculiar nose, while the other has white
hair, a short round face and 10 moles.
Furthermore, the hustle, bustle of a large troop could be overwhelming
for an autistic Scout. Autistic people often can't distinguish between
background noise and important noise. If a SPL were talking in a room
filled with 40-50 boys, normal people block out noise created by the
shifts in sitting, heating ducts popping, side whispers, etc. But an
autistic Scout's brain processes all that background noise and thinks it
is important as the SPL's speech. It can be overwhelming for an
autistic Scout - just as it would be for each of us if our brains
reacted like that.