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

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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

Session 3: Families

Introduction

This week you will be thinking about the families of people with learning disabilities.

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CHARLENE
I sometimes get on with my family, sometimes I don't.
CIAN
The problem is I spend too much time with my family, like, nearly anyone that’s got a learning disability.
SHAUN
My mum was very overprotective so I wasn't allowed out.
CHARLENE
Because I've got a learning disability, they treat me, like, different. You know? They don't treat me like an adult.
TERRY
I live with my mum, and she's pretty chilled out.
DAYO
Whenever I go out they always call, like, just to make sure that I'm all right. And that's a very good, positive thing.
End transcript: Video 1
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Families have always been the mainstay of care for people with learning disabilities. In 2015, over 44,000 of the people identified as having a learning disability in England were living with families – 36% of the total. In Wales, the figure was 53% (2018), in Scotland somewhat lower, at 30%.

Whether people stay in the family home, leave it to live independently, or are supported by paid staff, families play an exceptionally important role in the lives of many people with learning disabilities.

In this session you will explore:

  • how family carers and paid support workers can work together
  • why people with learning disabilities and their families may feel excluded from mainstream society
  • the family dynamics when an adult with a learning disability continues to live with parents well into adulthood.
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