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

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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

5.3 Living with my family

This final section of this session looks at the perspective of young people with learning disabilities living with their families. The statistics quoted in the introduction to this session showed that it is far more common for people with learning disabilities to remain with their families into adulthood than it is for non-disabled people – though this may be changing for millennials.

In the next activity you will hear Charlene, Cian, Terry, Dayo and Shaun, who you first met in Session 1, talking about living with their families.

Activity 6 Living with my family

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes.

First watch and listen to Charlene, Cian, Terry, Shaun and Dayo talk about living with their family. Then, using cut and paste, put the ideas they mention (shown in the box below) into Table 1 using the headings given.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 6
Skip transcript: Video 6

Transcript: Video 6

CHARLENE
I sometimes get on with my family. Sometimes, I don't because it's like-- so especially my mum and my sister, because I've got a learning disability, they treat me, like, different, you know. They don't treat me like an adult, like, half the time.
CIAN
My relationship with my family is kind of-- it's reasonably good, but it could be better. The problem is I spend too much time with my family, like any-- like nearly anyone that's got a learning disability. Because I didn't get the chance to, like, go off to university somewhere else-- I was stuck at home, at a poxy college-- I basically have lived with my mum and my brother all my life. And it can be incredibly hard, although I love my family to bits. I'd love to be able to live independently, but there's no-- there isn't really much option for me to just live independently.
TERRY
Well, what-- I live with my mum. And she's pretty chilled out. She is getting on a bit so she needs my help more than-- well, I need her help. [INAUDIBLE]
DAYO
I live with my mum. Yeah, I'm always very close. Yeah, I'm always very close to my family. Yeah, my family do give me the independence. You know, whenever I go out, just to make sure-- they always call, like, just to make sure that I'm all right. And that's a, you know, very good, positive thing.
SHAUN
My mum was very overprotective. So I wasn't allowed out pretty much. I was pretty much seen as someone almost trying to hide from society. And that happened until I was 16, 17, went to college-- still was coming home, still not doing anything much. And then my mum left in 2012-- my mum, my dad, broke up.
And it completely went reverse-- so it reversed because my dad was very much more like myself. He knew about what he'd get out and do what-- was right you know, and do what was needed to do. I was having to deal with quite a lot, but I'm dealing with a lot more better services. And now, my dad and me get on very well, so I'm pretty happy with how things have become.
CHARLENE
My nan I love so much. She always supports me, in everything you know, she’s the one that taught me everything, [LAUGHS] even-- Even about the birds and the bees, she taught me that.
End transcript: Video 6
Video 6
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
I love my family to bitsMy mum was over protective
I spend too much time with my familyI didn’t get the chance to go off to university
I’m always very close to my familyWhenever I go out they always call up to make sure I’m OK
My mum needs my help more than I need her helpThey don’t treat me like an adult
There isn’t much option for me to live independentlyMy mum is pretty chilled out
My mum was trying to hide me from societyMy gran taught me about the birds and the bees
My mum and my dad broke up, it completely went in reverse

Table 1 Views on living with family

I like living with my familyI don’t like living with my familyThings changed when …
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Words: 0
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Answer

Table 1 Views on living with family (completed)

I like living with my familyI don’t like living with my familyThings changed when
I love my family to bitsMy mum was over protectiveMy mum needs my help more than I need her help
I’m always very close to my familyWe spend too much time togetherMum and dad broke up, it went completely into reverse
My mum is pretty chilled outI didn’t get the chance to go off to university 
Whenever I go out they call up to make sure I am OKMy mum was trying to hide me from society 
My gran taught me about the birds and the beesThey don’t treat me like an adult 
 There isn’t much option for me to live independently 
   

These responses are as mixed as you might expect, and easily as mixed as the family perspective.

Did you notice how family relationships change over time? Terry in particular spoke about this, as now that his mum is getting on she is in need of Terry’s help as well. The relationship is becoming more reciprocal, and better as a result.

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