Boy Scouts Of America Sued For Revoking Badges From Boy With Autism
About 6,000 babies are born each year with Down syndrome in the US alone. In addition, 1 in every 68 children shows signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Furthermore, studies have shown a higher prevalence of ASD in boys, about 1 in every 42, compared to girls, 1 in 189.
Managing children with both conditions can be problematic, with medical costs considerably higher than children without the conditions. As at 2005, the average annual cost of Medicaid for children with ASD stood at $10,709. This figure is six times more than other children.
Father sues Boys Scouts for rejecting son with Down syndrome and autism
Chad Blythe is suing the Boy Scouts of America for stripping his son, Logan Blythe (15), of all his badges. Logan has also been banned from ever becoming an Eagle Scout. Logan had been a member of the Utah Chapter of the Scout, the National Parks Council, for three years.
Logan had been awarded with badges, based on his effort to accomplish set tasks, despite his intellectual challenges. It was a decision taken purely as a gesture of faith in the young man’s eagerness to participate.
In November 2017, Logan got approval for his Eagle project. He was supposed to put together care packages for special-needs babies and deliver them to hospitals. However, less than 24 hours after, a message sent to Chad said Logan’s project had been suspended.
Consequently, a rep of the Boy Scouts of America told Yahoo Lifestyle that special needs children are allowed to participate in activities but are not to be awarded with badges for achievements based on effort.
Chad is suing the National Council for “damages greater than one dollar” for “outrageous and reckless conduct and disregard of the emotional well-being of Logan.” According to Chad, they are discriminating against kids with special needs like Logan.
Scouts with challenges
The Boys Scouts' Disability Awareness program provides an opportunity for all boys, irrespective of physical or mental challenges, to participate in Scout activities. It only follows that denying them the reward for achievement is unfair, as Chad insists.