Filling a need

By Heather Acheson, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and some local parents proved this statement true when they formed Vancouver’s first “sensory friendly” Cub Scout group.

Washougal resident Deanna Pehrson, mother of a son with moderate autism, struggled to find a place where her boy could truly be a kid. While she may not have initially wanted to lead the charge, her will to see her son and other children in similar situations thrive pushed her forward.

With some help along the way, Cub Scout Pack 2 was formed.

On its surface, the impact of such a group might seem minimal. But for children dealing with these kinds of issues, including Autism, Asperger’s, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, making their way through everyday life can be scary and stressful at times.

In our fast-paced society, those who may be overwhelmed by loud noises, bright lights and sudden movements, or uncomfortable with the pace and structure of traditional activities, can find themselves isolated and without many options.

As detailed in an article in today’s Post-Record, being part of Cub Scout Pack 2, the special kids have opportunities to feel safe being themselves, form friendships, build self-esteem and develop social skills. These are all things that nearly every parent wants their child to experience, no matter what challenges he or she faces in life.

It takes people like Pehrson to stand up and be willing to pave the way in their own communities. The lives of these Cub Scouts will be forever changed, thanks to one mom who decided not to just accept there were no options for her son.