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Showing posts from June, 2010

What do the Scouts actually know about Special Needs?

For my blog readers who are getting sick of the scout stuff you can relax, this is the last post (it's only been the topic of the last 3 posts). This is obviously going to be a subjective post because it depends greatly on your scout group. In this case, I'm talking about the special needs branch of scouting in NSW Australia. I was recently at a two-day Special Needs Conference and I was quite interested to see their knowledge and attitudes towards special needs and the degree to which they engage with special needs children. I was expecting to hear a couple of guest speakers and a bit of a potted history of special needs with maybe a couple of examples and some mid-eighties style attitudes. I was totally blown away. Apart from a couple of cringeworthy moments, the general quality of the conference was very high. The Cringeworthy It's always nice to get the horrid bits out of the way so we can spend time on the good stuff. A Statement about Non-Disclosure We were discussing

Why is Scouting Particularly Suitable for Children with Aspergers and other ASDs. (Part 2)

This post follows on from part 1 . In part 1, we looked at the idea of "fallback friends", the opportunities for parental involvement and the balance between variety and structure. In part two, we'll be looking more specifically at the structure of the scouting programme and rewards system and how it meets the needs children with aspergers. Since my scouting experience tends to be limited to the younger ages, I'll be using a lot of cubs-specific terminology. Rest assured, the other parts of the scouting movement equally cater for special needs. The Special Interest Few aspies are so caught up in their special interest that they are unable to focus on anything else but most experience significant improvements in their results if they can somehow bring their special interest into their work. It's common to use the child's interest to drive their other activities at school but how does this work at scouts? The badge system at scouts is an amazingly wide-rangin

Why is Scouting Particularly Suitable for Children with Aspergers and other ASDs. (Part 1)

I've just come back from a scout leader "training-conference" for special needs scouting and I'm inspired by their acceptance, preparedness and amazing teaching methods. I'll talk more about the conference itself in a later post but right now I want to talk specifically about why Scouting is such a good choice of activity for children with aspergers and the other higher functioning forms of autism. Most of what I cover here is also applicable to children with ADHD. Fallback Friends One of the main reasons for getting your children into after school activities is to help them establish "fallback friendships". This is particularly important for children who are isolated for various reasons or who have poor social skills. Unfortunately as parents of children with ASDs, we have to accept that there will be times when our child feels that their entire school hates them. This quite often results from a massive social blunder which travels from class to class

FTF: Post 5 “Togetherness; A Dad’s Perspective on Marriage” by Gavin Bollard

As it turns out, I'm the writer for June's "First things First" article. This article was number five in a series of articles by various parents in the special needs community. The articles were intended to raise awareness amongst special needs parents that they need to look after their own needs as well as those of their children. Togetherness: A Dad's Perspective In traditional society, mothers and fathers tend to live in completely different worlds. The home, the kids and school are all in the mother’s realm while the father is more likely to take care of bread-winning and financial matters. The working week has expanded to take in weekends and the hours of work have lengthened too, courtesy of the traffic problems. Many fathers today hardly see their children and not because of the high divorce rate either. It’s simply that they have to leave before the kids are awake and they don’t get home until after bedtime. Some fathers have frequent out of state business