Shirley Sinclair, County Training Manager for Managers, Supporters and Trustees shares ways to update your knowledge on Autism Spectrum Condition.
There are many great things we do as Scouts that support young people and adults who have a life-long condition known as Autism Spectrum Condition/Disorder (ASC, ASD), for example our structured sessions and our diverse and well balanced programme. The range of activities and experiences offered help them and their non-autistic friends, in many ways, to develop skills for life.
However, there are also some things that young people and adults on the autism spectrum may find challenging and who may need some extra support.
Anxious times for some Scouts
It is important to remember that each young person or adult on the autism spectrum will be different and cope with things in different ways.
Unfortunately, once the coronavirus restrictions came along there was very little time to warn any young people that their normal routines were about to change and that their Scout meetings were cancelled, leaving little time for them to process the information and quite possibly causing anxiety.
Currently we all have to cope with some very difficult and challenging times as well as the need to find new ways of working and managing our daily lives.
For some this is an easy transition but for many with autism this could be a time of great uncertainty. There are breaks from routine, changes to the regular daily environment (school, college or work), family or loved ones in isolation with lack of regular or familiar contact, lots of information to take in, as well as the difficulty of having to process the fact that someone close is ill or has died.
How we’re helping
Fortunately, despite the challenges, many of you have carried on with regular meetings and activities in your own diverse ways.
It is really important that you stay in touch with all of our members but some additional contact and reassurance with those young people and adults with any additional need is so important.
It would be great if you could share how you have maintained contact and managed to adapt programmes to suit all young people with additional needs in these tough times. Get in touch.
Support you to provide scouting open to all
Scouting is committed to supporting adult members with their understanding of autism and to provide resources and guidance to help leaders.
There are some naturally supportive things about Scouting for young people on the autism spectrum; the caring environment and flexibility of the Programme to support inclusion, and our structures and routines can help the young person to feel comfortable and to engage.
Whether or not you have young people in your Group and Section on the Autistic Spectrum its always worthwhile upskilling on how to manage their needs or help other young people to understand. There are lots of useful resources available on Scouts.org.uk members resources.
Ongoing learning opportunties
We have partnered with the National Autistic Society (NAS) who have provided three optional training modules you can complete about people with autism (not just young people) and although the modules have not been developed specifically for Scouting, the learning can be applied to your ways of working within your sections and Groups.
The modules can only be accessed by adults in Scouting and you will need to use your Compass user name and password to link to the modules. Contact email@example.com if you need help to set up Compass access.
Adding your training to our records
Once complete, they can be used as part of your on-going learning.
When complete the module certificate will download. You will need to enter in your name and the date you completed the assessment by clicking the space on the certificate before saving and/or printing your certificate to show you have completed the learning.
A copy of your certificate can be shared with the County Training Managers (firstname.lastname@example.org) so your learning can be added to your training record on Compass.
If you have any questions please get in touch with Shirley Sinclair, County Training Manager (Managers, Supports and Trustees).