Introducing Ian

Introducing Ian

Ian Armstrong is a lot like other 16-year-old boys. He’s a competitive swimmer, enjoys building model rockets, and loves to spend his summer outdoors. He’s also a Boy Scout in Eagle River, Alaska, and is the son of EEI’s Information Technology Manager Bob Armstrong.

But Ian is also different than a lot of kids: He’s been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. According to his mom, Amy, Ian struggles with reading social cues and often doesn’t understand how to react in social situations. This can be a problem, and last summer almost caused him to be sent home from Camp Gorsuch Boy Scout Camp—a place that Ian loves.

Luckily, Ian found a mentor in Grady Hopper who is Ian’s life skills coach through the nonprofit FOCUS, Inc. Together, they’ve been able to work through the challenges of Scout camp and Ian has been able to take on additional responsibilities as a Counselor in Training. Both have learned new skills and benefited tremendously from the experience.

The photo above is of Ian and Grady and was provided courtesy of the Chugiak Eagle River Star. Additional photos and the rest of the story—including details about Ian’s job as a junior counselor at the camp—can be found at the paper’s website. It’s a great story, and we’re happy that Bob and the Chugiak Eagle River Star gave us permission to mention it here.