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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

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2.1 The right to choose

How do you support someone to make healthier choices, while respecting their right to make their own decisions?

Activity 2 The cheese sandwich

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes


1. Find out what Jimmy is eating the rest of the day to build up a picture of his overall diet


2. Check that Jimmy understands what his choices are


3. Encourage Jimmy to have a tomato or some coleslaw with the sandwich


4. Find out how his family have encouraged Jimmy to vary his diet in the past


5. Take over cooking Jimmy’s meals


6. Find out if Jimmy needs more help with shopping or learning how to cook


7. Find out if Jimmy is choosing a simple quick meal because his favourite TV programme is on at the time


8. Tell Jimmy he can only have a cheese sandwich three times a week

The correct answers are a, b, c, d, f and g.


All but 5 and 8 are actions you could take while respecting Jimmy’s rights to choose.

In this activity you explored some of the issues in making positive lifestyle choices, while respecting people’s rights as adults to make choices. Balancing respect for people’s right to choose with encouragement to make healthy choices will never be easy, and requires empathy and imagination.

In the next section you will explore the quality of healthcare for people with learning disabilities.