Triad family finds place where 2 sons on autism spectrum can ‘belong’ in Boy Scouts

Buckley Report

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Ben and Heather Pardue searched for years for places their two boys could “belong.”

Both Evan and his younger brother, Holden, are on the autism spectrum. Having traditional relationships with most kids is challenging for them.

There is one thing they found, though, that changed things for them.

“Oh, I’ve been a Scout for nearly three years,” Holden said. “My favorite part of scouting is having adventures and hanging out with friends for an activity.”

His brother, Evan, is not just an Eagle Scout but is now an assistant scoutmaster.

They are part of Troop 600’s unique program called “Special Ops,” which is dedicated to people on the autism spectrum and gives them the time and attention it takes for them to succeed.

It works, Heather says, “Because they feel like they belong. They’re somewhere they belong, they can accomplish the same things the other kids can accomplish. It may take them a little longer, we might have to teach it in a different way but they can still accomplish these things.”

Holden is now working toward his Eagle status as a scout — a rare thing.

“It’s about 4 percent nationally,” said Scout leader Mike Matzinger, about how many attain their Eagle designation. “It’s good for them but it’s also good for the other Scouts too.”

See what Holden is doing for his Eagle project in this edition of the Buckley Report.

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