Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

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EMO
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Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

Post by EMO » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:43 am

I keep an eye on an autistic boy who has recently turned 14. I'm not looking to get him into the sport of airsoft but I want to use it to teach gun safety to him.

I find it hard to keep him focused because he want's to get to the point without really learning. He's also not very good at listening. He has always had a fear of guns because he dosn't really understand how they can be fun & safe.
I was hoping some one here might have better knowledge of autism and gun safety mix.

In the end if all goes well I want to get him a cheap rifle he can shoot at his backwoods at his home.

Any and all help is appreciated
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Moose
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Re: Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

Post by Moose » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:40 am

As a FAS instructor I support any education and promotion of the shooting sports.
However, both federal and state laws prohibit the purchase and possesion of firearms by:
persons underage
persons deemed metally defective

Although commonly assumed mentally defective is not confined to those just having been committed to an institution.
Mentally defective is also more broadly to include those who, "lack the capacity to contract or manage their own affairs".
Autism has many forms and many degrees of challenges and impairments.

In your efforts to do the right thing, please also be clear on your legal responsibility.
With respect,
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Re: Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

Post by Guges Mk3 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:36 am

I'm with Moose on this one here.

Do you honestly think that this kid has the sense to not stand in the front yard and point this thing at other people.

If he gets shot and killed...onus will be on you.
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Re: Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

Post by EMO » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:38 pm

Guges Mk3 wrote:I'm with Moose on this one here.

Do you honestly think that this kid has the sense to not stand in the front yard and point this thing at other people.

If he gets shot and killed...onus will be on you.
With proper lessons he can learn. I notice in most autistic children, If they learn the correct way it sticks to them. They wont forget that lessons and become afraid of breaking the rules.

Such as his knife his father bought him. He was told it was a decorative knife and that is exactly how he treats it. He never pulls the blade out near people.
Thinking that these children have absolutely zero sense is kind of ignorant. Kids like these have a lot of potential with correct parenting and supervision.
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Re: Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

Post by Guges Mk3 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:09 pm

We don't know the kid. You do.

Moose and I are playing Devils advocate...in our society...you have to.
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Re: Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

Post by Tank » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:17 pm

You say he's always had a fear of guns...That may be a GOOD thing. Depending on how "functional" he is, it might be best to simply teach him to avoid guns.

You also said he doesn't listen well or pay attention well. Those two things are not particularly conducive to firearms safety.


What do his PARENTS think about this? Ultimately it's their decision and responsibility what their child is (or is not) taught.
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Re: Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

Post by EMO » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:52 pm

Tank wrote:You say he's always had a fear of guns...That may be a GOOD thing. Depending on how "functional" he is, it might be best to simply teach him to avoid guns.

You also said he doesn't listen well or pay attention well. Those two things are not particularly conducive to firearms safety.


What do his PARENTS think about this? Ultimately it's their decision and responsibility what their child is (or is not) taught.
His parents dont have a huge issue at all. His fear comes from television not his parents. With the correct coaching he can and will listen. Im looking for help not looking for donts.
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Re: Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

Post by Archer » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:15 pm

EMO wrote:I find it hard to keep him focused
EMO wrote:he want's to get to the point without really learning.
EMO wrote:He's also not very good at listening.
EMO wrote:always had a fear of guns because he dosn't really understand how they can be fun & safe.
All of these combined lends to people being nervous about this. Nobody here is trying to just blatantly shoot you down, but everyone here wants what safest for him and what's safest for everyone in general. I know that when I helped do my high school's hunter safety shoot that anyone that showed these traits (not necesserily people whom had mental disabilities, but those that did not have the patience/attention for us to feel safe letting them use firearms) was not allowed to participate in the shoot.

Like has been said, you know him, you know what he is capable of, and more importantly what he isn't capable of... We just want to know that your going into this with both eyes open and to be ready for whatever you come across.

I would see if you could get a hunter's safety guide from your local DNR office and go through that with him first and do exercises without live firearms the first few times before you ever put a live rifle in his hands, just to be sure he has the safety rules down. Then once you have those down, start going shooting, being very strict on the rules, talking him through the whole process, from clearing the range, through shooting, making sure the gun is safe, that the range is clear, etc... go step by step and never change the process, make sure it is the same every time and go slow enough that he can follow along and learn it with you. Autistic people learn things very well but most don't deal well with changes, so making sure that everything follows a rigid, safe pattern when he is learning will be key to keeping him and others safe.
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Re: Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

Post by vashke » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:41 am

I have a similar situation with my oldest son. I took the route of training him in little stages so that there was not much to take in all at once. One of the biggest things that helped him to learn safety was by setting the example myself.

Regardless of the child/person involved we need to set the correct example. That is one of the reasons people on this board will play devil’s advocate when you ask questions. It is also educate people on the safety measures needed with airsoft. When I first got into airsoft I did not know jack about the safety concerns but with posting questions and reading the board I found out the danger and risks involved with our sport. This in turn made me take a look at what the capabilities of my oldest son are and if he can handle having the airsoft guns around let alone even use them. So far the tyke has surprised me with his attention to safety and correcting me on my bad habits.

Just for the record the first sign that he dis-respects the airsoft guns we have then I will not hesitate to remove them. As it is I keep them either locked in a chest or locked in a large duffle bag with all batteries, cartridges, and BBs store in a third locked container. I take no chances :-)
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Re: Best way to introduce autistic child to airsoft?

Post by Mac/Pistol Man » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:36 pm

EMO wrote:
Tank wrote:You say he's always had a fear of guns...That may be a GOOD thing. Depending on how "functional" he is, it might be best to simply teach him to avoid guns.

You also said he doesn't listen well or pay attention well. Those two things are not particularly conducive to firearms safety.


What do his PARENTS think about this? Ultimately it's their decision and responsibility what their child is (or is not) taught.
His parents dont have a huge issue at all. His fear comes from television not his parents. With the correct coaching he can and will listen. Im looking for help not looking for donts.

Or just don't "introduce" him to something that puts him, and others, in danger.
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