Autism and Scouting Leadership Training Kit Committee
The Autism and Scouting Leadership Training kit was co-authored by John and Karen Krejcha from Autism Empowerment with the assistance of the Autism and Scouting Leadership Advisory Committee. In putting together the Leadership Advisory Committee, we included scouts, scouting leaders and volunteers from a variety of scouting organizations (including Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Campfire USA and Joey Scouts) in the United States and Australia. We included authors, educators, trainers and internationally known autism experts. Over half of the people on the Autism and Scouting Leadership Advisory committee are on the autism spectrum including one of our co-authors.
This project was a team effort and we are incredibly grateful to all our volunteers!
Autism Empowerment has a core belief that if you really want to get deeply engaged and help kids, teens and adults living with autism, Asperger syndrome or ASD, you need to actively include men, women and youth on the autism spectrum in the conversation.
We have in the past. We do in the present. We will in the future.
The Leadership Team
John Krejcha – WA
Co-founder of Autism Empowerment and the Program Director for the Autism and Scouting Program. John is also a Radio host (Autism and Scouting Radio), blogger, speaker and presenter. John is the driving force behind the Autism and Scouting Program.
He has many different volunteer positions within the Boy Scouts and has received a number of adult scouting awards.
He has two sons on the autism spectrum.
Karen Krejcha – WA
Executive Director and co-founder of Autism Empowerment. Karen is also an author, Radio host at Autism Empowerment Radio, speaker, blogger and a tireless self-advocate with Asperger’s. She is the winner of the 2012 GRASP Distinguished Spectrumite Medal Award and 2013 Washington State Jefferson Award for Volunteerism. Karen also volunteers with the Boy Scouts and was a Girl Scout as a youth.
She has two sons on the autism spectrum, a 7 year old Wolf Scout and a 14 year old Life Scout.
Kelly Behnke – IL
Kelly is an advocate for her eleven year old son. Kelly works in public education and has taught drug prevention as well as Autism Acceptance.
She not only was a Girl Scout herself, but was a leader and trainer for 8 years.
Currently, she serves as a Boy Scout leader in a number of roles, including trainer, and is working hard to make sure that scouting is available for scouts of all abilities.
Gavin Bollard – Australia
Gavin is an advocate for his son as well as himself. Gavin works in the Technology field and is a prolific blogger with a large following at “Life with Aspergers”.
He has been a Joey Scout leader and has written about scouting and its benefits.
Jennifer is a teacher, award winning author, creator of Asperkids LLC, speaker, blogger and amazing advocate for herself, her three children and husband who are all Aspies and Asperkids.
She has won many different awards including the 2012 GRASP Distinguished Spectrumite Medal Award.
Jackie Dannemiller – Oregon
Jackie works as a special education teacher at the high school level and believes in inclusion for youth in scouting of all abilities.
She is a passionate Boy Scout leader and Scouting Trainer who has received a number of adult leadership awards. Jackie is a long time support of Autism Empowerment and the Autism and Scouting Program and was instrumental in getting having the Autism and Scouting Training offered at the BSA’s Leadership and Training Conference.
Lindsay Foster – Texas
Lindsay studied special education and works in public education at the elementary level. She is both a Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader.
She has three children in scouting and her daughter is on the autism spectrum.
Linda is an advocate for herself and all seven of her children who are on the autism spectrum.
She has created and taught a training on working with girls who are on the autism spectrum in scouting.
All of her children have been in a scouting program.
Linda volunteers for both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.
Justin is currently a BSA Life Scout and has Asperger’s.
He has designed and maintained scouting websites.He has worked for the past two years with Cub Scouts in the role of Den Chief for both a special needs unit and a traditional unit.
He is currently an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for his Boy Scout unit.
Tony has over 40 years as a special needs advocate within the Boy Scouts.
He is an Eagle Scout, co-founder and current webmaster for Working with Scouts with disAbilities. He currently is Chair of the BSA National Task Force on working with Scouts with disAbilities. He likes to have a focus on the Ability vs. the disability.
Founder and Director of the Asperger Women’s Association.
She is a self-advocate and former Camp Fire USA leader.
She is a big supporter of inclusion and acceptance.
Erin is both a Girl Scout and Boy Scout leader and advocate for her son who is on the autism spectrum.
Chris is an advocate for his son and himself and works in the technology field. He is an Eagle Scout and has provided training to his council where he resides. He has held a number of leadership positions within scouting and been awarded different scouting awards.
He has three sons, one of which is on the autism spectrum. He is also the author of the ADHD training on the DVD.
Heather has worked in both publishing and education and has provided training for the Boy Scouts.
She has three sons, one of which is on the autism spectrum.
Erika is an author, trainer, consultant, radio host, blogger and founder of Journey of Learning Academy.
She volunteers with the Boy Scouts and has three sons on the autism spectrum.
Ronda is co-author of “The Hidden Curriculum”, presenter, speaker and has worked for more than 30 years in the field of special education.
She was co-chair of Southwest Washington’s Autism Consulting Cadre for 10 years and currently serves on the Board for the Community Autism Network.
Richard is an Eagle Scout and is currently a youth member of Special Needs Crew 88.
He is a self-advocate with Asperger’s and has been previously featured on Autism and Scouting Radio.
Autism and special needs advocate within Boy Scouts and locally in his community.
He is the Chair of his district’s Special Needs Committee and creator of the Great Race for Autism Awareness.
He likes to spread the message of inclusion and acceptance for youth with all abilities no matter what challenges they may face.
Special Thanks to the Autism Empowerment Board of Directors
It was not just the Autism and Scouting Leadership Steering Committee that helped with the production of the Autism and Scouting Leadership Training Kit. Four of the Autism Empowerment Board of Directors also helped in reviewing and editing the kit manual to make sure that it was on Mission of Autism Empowerment and the Autism and Scouting Program.
In addition, they all reviewed the final product and helped in the editing of the materials. A special thanks to the following Autism Empowerment Board of Directors:.
- Brian Tashima
- Paul Pitsenbarger
- Peggy Pitsenbarger
- Sara Wilber
To learn more about them, you can visit the Autism Empowerment Board of Directors page: Board of Directors Page
Special Thanks to the Autism Speaks
Autism Empowerment, the Autism and Scouting Program and the authors of this publication hereby acknowledge Autism Speaks Family Services Community Grants as the funding agency for the project leading to this publication. The views expressed in our publication do not necessarily express or reflect the views of Autism Speaks or any other funding agency.
Autism Speaks provided a generous $25,000 grant which allowed for Autism Empowerment to develop, produce and distribute our first 500 kits throughout the United States. We are very grateful for these project funds as they allowed us to share the information in our kits far and wide, in person and online. Autism Empowerment and the Autism and Scouting Program is also greatly appreciative to all of the volunteers who donated their time, energy and brainpower to assist with the development and production of the Autism and Scouting Leadership Training Kit.