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Information For Parents

Scouting can help autistic children in many ways. Scouting is generally a group activity and can help an autistic child learn peer related social and communication skills. Scouting can also help teach an autistic child the safe way to do many activities that they will be useful throughout their lives including first aid, cooking, team work, personal fitness and personal management. Many of the activities are physical in nature and focus on nature and camping. The physical activities are designed to be challenging, but not impossible for any youth to complete. Advancement and recognition are a strong part of scouting, but are set on an individual pace. It's not a race and not a competition. Scouting encourages youth to reach difficult, but attainable goals. This can help foster a sense of accomplishment and give kids something to be proud of. Many sports and other extra-curricular activities are not suited for autistic children for a variety of reason but Boy Scouts is open to all boys, with or with out disabilities, and will make every effort to accommodate Scouts with disabilities and special consideration can be given to scouts who are physically unable to complete a requirement due to disability. However, a scout must be able to communicate in some way with the members and leaders of his unit. While there are units composed exclusively of Scouts with disabilities, experience has shown that Scouting works best when such boys are "mainstreamed" --- included in a regular patrol in a regular pack, troop, team or crew. Whatever type of Troop your son joins, you need to talk to the Leaders and tell them the specifics about your son and discuss any special needs or considerations. Let the leaders know any information that you think will be helpful for the scoutmaster in regards to safety and communicating.

You can talk to your local Scout Council office and go to meetings for different units to find out more about what scouting can offer. Information about locating your local Scouting Council and Units can be found at beascout.scouting.org. Go to Meetings for several different units to find a unit that is right for your son. Talk to the Scouts and the Adults to get a feel for each unit and pick a unit that you and your son are comfortable with.

More information on the benefits of Scouting for children diagnosed with ASD and how the BSA strives to make Scouting as safe and possible can be found below.