A boy with special needs has been handed the NSW Scout Commissioner Award after his scout training helped him to rescue his mother who fell down the stairs at their home in Holsworthy.
Trystan Budge of 1st Wattle Grove Scout Group was nominated for the award by a Hunter and Coastal scout leader after they saw a Facebook post by Trystan’s mother who wrote about the incident.
His father and Wattle Grove scout leader Sean Budge said they were very proud of their son.
“Trystan always wanted to be a scout,” Mr Budge said. “He became a joey scout when he was six and then he became a cub scout at eight. I was a scout, our eldest son was a scout and I began as a scout leader 11 years ago so I’d take him to camps to help set up and he just loved it.
“Back in May my wife fell down the stairs outside our house and he remembered the first aid steps. He put her aside in a recovery position, elevated her leg, put ice on her ankle, placed towels underneath her and a blanket over the top to keep her warm.
“Then he passed her phone so she could call my eldest son and I. Meanwhile, he started a fire in the fire bowl to keep her warm until we got there. After the bushfires in April we had to evacuate our home and that gave him anxiety. Considering, I was surprised he was able to get passed that and remember what to do.”
He said scout training is beneficial for all children.
“Scouts don’t exclude, they welcome everyone. I think for any child, scouts is fantastic. It’s about developing life skills in leadership, being a good citizen and being able to look after people around you. We also teach them about our community, our country and activities like how to camp and hike.”.
Mr Budge shared some of the challenges his youngest son encounters.
“He was about two when we became aware and he was diagnosed with dyspraxia, dyslexia, short and long term memory issues, mild intellectual delay and mild to moderate autism. He’s a very intelligent child who is aware but he’ll learn things differently. He’ll learn, stop, go backwards and then he’ll start learning again.
“At first the developmental problem was a total shock to us, we didn’t understand it. He struggles with communication, balance and fine motor skills. Scouts has helped him to manage situations and he’s also made lots of friends.”
Trystan’s award is now featured on a wall at their home, even though he doesn’t understand why he got the award.
“When he told him about the award he asked why when he was just doing the right thing and helping other people.”
His mother Kim Budge said it’s an accomplishment she’ll always remember.
“I’m very proud of what he’s done and how he’s achieved it,” she said. “He has special needs and knew exactly what to do because he’s part of scouts. I was just trying to keep calm because he has anxiety but he didn’t get any.
“He knew exactly what he was doing and at school if other children get hurt, he often takes them to the teachers or first aid. He’s turning 12 at the end of this month and it’s allowed him to learn things that a lot of other kids wouldn’t know how to do.”