Autistic recruits?

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by dickie_out_and_about, Nov 9, 2007.

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  1. I need someone to give me the chapter and verse on this;
    I have left the forces and work as a Residential Child Care Officer at a school for children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural difficulties. One of the year 11 pupils has Aspergers Syndrome which is a form of autism.
    He wants to join the Army as a bandsman.
    I'm 99.9% certain he can't join due to his condition (think Forrest Gump with a bad attitude and that sums him up).
    What I need is the black and white saying people with such a condition can't join up.
    Can anyone help?

    p.s. He also wants to do the 'look at life' course. is this also a non-starter?
  2. These questions deserve an equal amount of serious and non serious answers, and most of mine would be the latter I'm afraid. :)

    On a depressingly serious note, I feel your questions may reach a larger and more relevant audience in the RAMC Forum.

    (Someone please, please put this in the NAAFI!!!!)
  3. One of the things about Aspergers Syndrome is that they take things literally. Imagine his response to orders such as:
    Give me one second....he will count to one then continue.
    Watch your step.....he will look at his feet.
    Pull your socks up.....he will pull his socks up.
    The list is endless
  4. My son is has aspergers, and this topic has been covered several times before. Use the search and it should come up. I know of a couple of people who are serving having been diagnosed after they joined and continue to do ok, but on the other hand I know of several who were just unsuitable. Not a great answer but its down to the individual and how well they cope with their condition
  5. My grandson has AS. He asked my opinion about joining the ACF. I explained disciplne and living close to other people. He joined and seems to be doing well. As with everything AS, it is the unfamiliar that causes distress.
  6. I think a bird I snecked off with in Ibiza in the early nineties had this syndrome, I told her to get some water down her neck, fu** me, she just poured a whole bottle down her back? all make's sense now!
  7. Cheers. Having read through it I now have enough to take back to the fluffy bunnies who believe he should be allowed to join up to prove he would be a liability. Aspergers has a range of symptomatic behaviours and degrees of severity. This particular kid doesn't like loud noises or flashing lights (Thats RA and RAC out of the question) so he's going to be proverbial 'tits on a fish' in combat.
    The fact he wants to join the band also is a non starter as the dude with the f*ck off big drum banging out the step might put the willies up him!

    Thanks for the replies folks.
  8. A young relative of mine has Asperger's Syndrome. A nice enough lad once you understand his limitations but I wouldn't want him anywhere near the Army. He is alright in situations that he has already experienced but quickly goes to pieces in any environment that is new or strange, particularly if he does not have someone he knows close by for support.

    Having said that, he has just gone up to university and apart from a couple of wobbles, appears to be surviving - but it is early days yet.

  9. The RAMC forum points to the AFCO form 5 which states any form of autism is a non-runner.
    Cheers for all the input. I'm now off to shatter a young boys dreams and it feels kinda funky.
  10. This is interesting as most people with ASD are not assessed
  11. Yes, it's a tricky one. It is only recently that ASD has come to light. There must be hundreds, or thousands, serving in HMF who suffer this condition. It seems I have this, but it has never been formally diagnosed. My cousin's son has Asperger's Syndrome. He had severe problems from the age of 3 to 11. It was me who, initially, diagnosed him. But until my cousin had some sort of "safety net", about what resourses were available, she could not accept the problem. At the age of 13, this lad now has a circle of good mates, and has settled down. But the lad that the original poster describes seems to have a lot of difficulties and does not seem to be ideal Army material.
  12. My son has aspergers... He has always had aspergers, but please don't tar every aspergers with the same brush. My son was really bad as a young boy, and some people could not see the light at the end of the tunnel... But I perservered with him, and got him what he rightfully deserved, a chance to live in a normal world, like a normal person. And yes my son did attend residential school for some time, but now he is in a mainstream college doing very well indeed, okay he's not quite as sharp as everybody else because hes dyslexic which sometimes holds him back, but hes a fighter and hes done well. He has emerged from a young boy that kicked off if he could not cope, to a young man that will follow orders. He gets a little nervous sometimes, but then doesnt every teenage boy or girl.
  13. The person that works as a Residential Child Care Officer at a school for school for children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural difficulties... You should have stuck at being in the forces. No disrespect but my son has Aspergers' and the way you have described this child tars a lot of other kids with the same, and not all Aspergers' are the same, they are all different with different needs, some need more, some need less, but the one thing that they do need is support for their future. Some might see them and laugh and say that they don't have a future, but they do, and it is your job to make sure that they can pursue a future that they want.
    My son is now nearly 17, but he was as you described (Forrest Gump with a bad attitude). My son also used to attend a college a bit like the one you work in, he hated it there so much that he would play up as much as possible to get noticed so that people would hear what he wanted to do. I always heard him, I'm his mother, but when people from the place where he stayed were telling him sorry you will be nothing more than a shop boy, then how demeaning is that... Instead of encouragement all they could do was beat him down, so I took him out, and now he attends our local college where he is doing very well indeed. He joined the Army Cadets which he loves, he is the pride of his unit. He keeps his uniform neat and tidy, he has learnt to iron it with pride and polish his boots so that you can see in them... He is a proud person, and last Sunday he marched with his unit on Remembrance Day, and he said he was proud to be an Army Cadet. Once upon a time he couldn't even take constructive critism, now he takes everything that is thrown at him... Why because he is part of something and involved in something he enjoys doing, he has a purpose in life. He no longer says I have Aspergers', he says I am a normal human being and now I get treated like a human being, and that is all he has ever wanted. Your lad might not be able to do certain things, but there is no reason why he cannot try, we cannot all be perfect at everything, that is what makes us all unique. Instead of saying he can't, how about saying he might, or he will. Let him join the Army Cadets, it might be just what he needs to feel he belongs somewhere. Maybe then he might not be Forrest Gump as you so horribly describe him.
  14. Dickie I hope that you are not going to "shatter a young boys dreams" based on my reply which was:

    Right, as you say Aspergers is a form of Autism. The AFCO Form 5, Application to Serve in the Armed Forces Guidance Notes, lists in it's Basic Medical Conditions - Unsuitable Conditions:

    "Psychiatric disorders: Ongoing pyschiatric illness. Psychosois. Schizophrenia. Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Autism. Personality disorder. More than one episode of deliberate self harm of any type. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Alcohol or substance dependence. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) unless free of symptons and not requiring treatment for at least three years. Anorexia and bulimia."

    It also states:

    "Please note that Armed Forces CAs and their office staff are not medically qualified and that all final decisions regarding medical suitablity for entry are made by centre selection staff."

    So ask at the AFCO / ACIO and let the Medical Staff do their bit - but be prepared for a negative answer - anything else will be a bonus!

    Unsuitable Conditions - so let the Medical Staff do their bit as different people may have different levels of autism which could or could not affect their everyday life
  15. Thanks for highlighting that and worthy of note.
    However common sense told me as soon as I was told he wanted to join up that it was the worst idea since eddie the eskimo decided to emigrate and build his igloo in dubai. His level of Aspergers is quite severe.
    All I needed was something in black and white to back it up. The rest of the staff agreed that this kid joining up seemed scary. He doesn't like noises or flashing lights (bit of a disadvantage if you get mortared and one of your troops is stood in open ground with his hands clasped to his knapper). He doesn't like being shouted at (basic training would be a struggle) and finally his attitude is shite. He doesn't do social and his communication skills are virtually non existant.
    In my opinion the Army are better off without him and he's better off without the Army.