Welcome to our new title of ‘Inclusivity’, the concept of which is to make the topic more user friendly and specific. We need to consider whether parents are in denial when their children join a section/group and try to encourage an open and frank one-to-one discussion in order that leaders can provide the required support. The use of a formal parent/guardian form may prove useful when talking to parents. The stigma of any problem must be removed by having an initial frank discussion and being able to work through the situation. Last year we referred to an HQ publication ‘Parent or Carer Conversation Framework’ which is a very good guideline.
Again this year County has been well supported by TAB and SoLo and we have the advantage that several of our leaders and District staff are also employed by SoLo enabling us to get professional advice for our Scouting needs. A one off course at County HQ was organised via SoLo called ‘Autism Awareness Course’ which was very well attended and extremely informative. The speaker had autism so the whole presentation was given through his eyes and with his perspective of someone having to cope and deal with situations as he saw them. It really gave an insight into how anyone with autism can be misunderstood and hopefully more seminars like this can be organised in the future.
HQ do offer a great deal of support for all our members i.e.
Special Advisers for Inclusion and Diversity – firstname.lastname@example.org.
UK commissioner for Inclusion – Tom Milson – email@example.com.
Bespoke Specific Advice – ADHD Foundation – www.adhdfoundation.org.uk
National Autistic Society – www.nas.org.uk
Mind (Mental Health) – www.mind.org.uk
Nip in the Bud (Mental Health) – www.nip.org.uk
Note: O.C.D. (Obsessive Compulsion Disorder) is on the Autistic spectrum but it is not recognised as such.
Finally I cannot praise and thank the leaders enough for their care and understanding in helping both young and vulnerable people within the Scouting community.
Assistant County Commissioner Special Needs