Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yet Another Reason I Love Our Boy Scout Troop

Gameboy has fulfilled all but one requirement to achieve his Second Class and First Class Scout rank (and has some requirements towards Star Scout, too). That one requirement is a toughie-he needs to know how to swim. Not just the ability to stay afloat that he already has, but lengths of a pool.

This probably will require a lot of swim lessons for him, private ones at that. We can't afford that and we're not even sure that he'll gain anything from the time invested. I'll be contacting the local YMCA to explore options for him. In the meantime, he's still stalled in ranks.

This has bothered several leaders. They've been afraid that the lack of advancement would sour Gameboy on the whole scouting experience. There are things that they don't realize about him-that right now, it's providing an organized social environment to attempt to interact with his peers, and that is probably more important to him than the the ranks.

Last month, one leader talked to me about it, because he was clearly frustrated that we were held up by a physical requirement that he was sure that Gameboy couldn't do. We discussed our options and what each of us had discovered in our research both on and off the Internet. It ends up that I'd found more in my Internet research in a short period of time than he had in several months of going through his Boy Scout channels. I had called counsel and got the name of the person who handles the program modifications for special needs scouts.

The leader knew this person well and told me he'd speak to him (I'd left an email that afternoon). I asked if it would help if I submitted the "Letter of Introduction" we use when each new professional begins to work with Gameboy. He loved the idea and the offer of a letter that Gameboy's psychiatrist had written, summarizing his diagnoses.

Last week, I was told the information was stellar-that it gave Counsel a clear understanding of what Gameboy's limitations would be. Tonight, another of the leaders came to me to follow up. Our next step is to create a 504 plan for Gameboy to keep in his permanent scouting record. This would mean that each time he encountered a board of review, the information would be readily available for board members to compare his accomplishments to his abilities.

We talked about the fact that Gameboy talks of becoming an Eagle Scout someday. With the 504 plan, he does not have time constraints upon him. What I expect will happen, and these leaders concur, is that when Chef Jr bridges to Boy Scouting next year, that's when Gameboy will kick his progress into higher gear. Many times, things are reversed, with Chef taking on the trailblazing older brother role.

In other packs, I'm not sure that this would have been a priority for the leadership. Boy Scouting is all about motivating the boys to be independent and self directed. However, the troop we happened to be blessed with sees that this child needs more support and does everything they can to keep on top of him making progress and getting the most out of his experience with them.

Pretty darn cool, if you ask me.

4 People talked back:

ligirl said...

That is AWESOME. I know how happy you are with this pack, and I can see why. I look forward to attending Gameboy's Eagle Ceremony someday!

marlasmom said...

Suzanne my grandson (age 10) finally passed the swimming test. He could swim - but couldn't test. Maybe something you should consider. ANyway we have a pool and your kids are welcome to train here if you want - anytime.

I too look forward to that Eagle ceremony,

Suzanne said...

Donna, you'll be there. Perhaps it will be both of them at the same time!

MM, We have access to a pool, but it's his motor skills that are and will always be an issue. Thanks so much for the offer!

Shannon said...

I don't know a lot about your son's diagnosis (hope to learn more about your wonderful family as I delve more into posts) but it sounds like you have a wonderful support system and great Boy Scout troop behind him.