Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blog Launch Announcement: Autism and Scouting

Good evening, Aspierations visitors!

Tonight I am pleased to let you know that my husband has just given birth!  It's a bouncing baby blog and was born on April 17th at 9:19 p.m.  Time in labor?  About 45 minutes. Given my OWN labor experience with our sons, I personally think he should have pushed on for at least another few hours.  It builds character.

Perhaps you may not find that amusing, but when I'm running on fumes and am daydreaming of sleep, I get a bit goofy and I can't guarantee where that will take my writing. I could link to some previous blogs that would make my point but I don't want to get you guys and gals distracted.  I have a new blog to introduce and I want to do it justice!

My husband normally blogs at Life and Times of John Krejcha.  It's not topic specific. He writes about family life, Survivor, politics, personal reflections, autism, Asperger's and a lot of other stuff too.  Lately he has been contributing a lot of blogs to do with scouting. 

John is the only person in our family of four that is not somewhere on the autism spectrum but we love him nonetheless and are happy to say that he's making lots of conversions to the quirky side.  Little does he know that it's part of my sinister plot to take over the world.  That's for another day though...

John selflessly donates a lot of time to volunteering with Boy Scouting.  Our oldest son just started his second year of Boy Scouts and before that, he was in Cub Scouts for three years. John has been involved in some sort of leadership capacity the entire time.  Scouting has provided tremendous benefits for Justin and he has made some amazing growth in social confidence, physical skills and trying things normally outside his comfort zone.  Although I have faith and great belief in my son to achieve on his own, the fact that John was there along the way to help encourage and empower him to try so many new things was a real benefit and I am so grateful for opportunities he has given our son to stretch his wings and fly.

John is of the belief that including children with autism spectrum disorders in the scouting experience, both for boys and girls can provide beneficial results for kids and teens both on and off the autism spectrum. It is important to have leadership who is willing to share and be open.   We have found that the rewards far outweigh the risks.





John started a new blog specifically for Autism and Scouting and it will also tie in with his Facebook Group.  The link is http://www.autismandscouting.blogspot.com and if you or anyone you know might be interested, we invite you to check it out and become involved.  This is not limited to just the USA but includes scouts, families, leaders, caregivers and interested parties from around the world.

I am reposting John's welcome blog below to make sure it also gets viewing with Aspierations Blog viewers for Autism Awareness month but after today, you can go to his blog directly.

Reposted with John's permission:
Welcome to my Autism and Scouting Blog

As this is Autism Awareness Month, I have been promoting the Autism and Scouting Facebook page all month and we have gotten a lot of new members. I will be posting this blog there as well. To all of the new members, welcome and to everybody reading this blog, I welcome you to check it out. 



I am the father of two boys, my oldest has aspergers and has been in scouting for coming up on five years (1 year in Boy Scouts) and my youngest who has Autism will be joining Cub Scouts in about a year from now.  I was an assistant den leader for my sons first year in scouting as a wolf and then the den leader for the three years (Bear and two years of Webelos). I took 5 months off and then after my son’s return from summer camp, joined the troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster became fully trained and as part of my duties is the Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge Counselor (among some others). 

I first started this Facebook Page in August of 2010 after returning from summer camp and watching the scouts and how they relate to each other and staff. I saw a great need for staff to understand those on the Autism Spectrum and was a great learning tool for me.  During that time I felt a calling to help not only my son but all of the kiddos who call scouting home. I honestly believe that scouting can be used as a tool to help all kiddos with Autism to be more successful and accepted. At this time, I went to google and tried to research Autism and Scouting and came up with very little and many things that were outdated and nothing with practical advice for those who support these kids on how to get the most out of the Scouting experience. 

I thought since there is nothing now out in the mainstream to bring light to the extreme benefits of scouting for those who have Autism, why not me. It took a few months but on January 1 of this year, I started to write my book about Autism and Scouting. Again, I just did not want it to give just facts but those are important, I wanted the book to have a real face to it with real scout stories of scouts who have both seen the positive and the negative side of scouting, from the scout leaders to the parents who support them in the scouting experience.  The writing has been slow going because I have many other commitments but it is starting to come together. I am still in need of more feedback from scouts, leaders and parents and if you know of anybody willing to help, you can contact me either on the Blog Comments below, you can e-mail me or you can leave a note on Facebook.  

In this blog you will find things relating to Autism and the autism spectrum (including Asperger's, PDD/NOS and all spectrum variances) as it relates to Scouting and I am always open to comments and suggestions. I would love to know what subjects you would like me to cover. 

I want to say a special Thank You to my ever loving wife Karen. She is an Aspie and has a great blog all about Autism, Aspergers and the theme of acceptance for all with ASD. (Hey, he's talking about Aspierations! Thanks!) She has been very supportive even while times have been tough for us due to the current economic times. She is the one who suggested to me to start this new Blog site and I dedicate all of my work to her and my sons. If it was not for her Love and Support, I would be half the person I am.  She supports me each week as we go off  to the Troop meetings knowing that her work may have to be put on hold while taking care of our other son. It is her Love that allows me to grow as a person, a leader and father.  The best day of my life was the day she walked into it and did not run the other way. I know how much sacrifice you have given, it does not go unnoticed. Thank you so much for everything. 

Please check out the Facebook Page and I hope you will follow me here on Blogger. 

Support a Scout


End of repost ----

I want to reiterate that John's vision for Autism and Scouting is to be a dynamic and open community where people feel comfortable coming to share, ask questions and give suggestions and advice.  Feel free to start a topic in the Discussion Section at Facebook.  Although it's John's baby (and he gets the poopy diapers), you'll see me popping in there from time to time to with my comments and support!

Thanks for stopping by, Aspierations friends!
Adieu,
Karen

3 comments:

  1. My six year old son is also on the spectrum and just started cub scouts. He is so excited and I know he will love it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for stopping by the Aspierations blog! Congratulations to you and your son for starting with Cub Scouts! Hope he has a great time! Six is a fun age and I think it's super you're getting him involved early. Scouting is such a great place to practice social interaction. I'm looking forward to when our youngest son can be a cub too!

    We hope you'll visit again and please feel free to check out John's Facebook group if you haven't already! :-)

    Karen (Aspierations) & John (Autism & Scouting)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is such a wonderful story! I have a son with autism and I think that scouts is a great way to get children with autism into social situations. I get a lot of help with my son's autism from http://onlineceucredit.com/edu/social-work-ceus-fl. Thank your for sharing this story!

    ReplyDelete