Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wellbeing

SEXUALITY AND RELATIONSHIPS—THE NEED TO KNOW

There are three main reasons why services and their staffs cannot ignore the issue of sexuality. Ordinary lives: Our aim is for people with learning disabilities to live ordinary lives. We promote this in housing, employment, education and so on. We cannot then draw a line and say that these people cannot have ordinary relationships and sexual experiences! Relationships...

THE UPS AND DOWNS OF BEING A PARENT WITH LEARNING

There is now widespread acceptance of the idea that people with learning difficulties should be able to live an ordinary life in the community. For most people, an ordinary life means marriage and children. Do we hum and haw at this point and say: ‘Ah, well, we don’t mean that ordinary’? And if not, then how can we best...

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND SEXUALITY

In discussion with frontline staff about the areas of their work that they find most challenging—and about which they feel most vulnerable—personal development and sexuality of service-users is consistently mentioned. Similarly, listening to our self-advocacy groups and the Galway Service Users’ Council, the issue of relationships is frequently raised. Parents and family members can also find the issue of...

RELATIVE VALUES: BARBARA AND KATE POWELL

BARBARA: I knew the moment Kate was born that something was wrong. I had a very nice midwife, who said: ‘What do you think it is?’ and I said straightaway: ‘I think she’s got Down Syndrome’. My other children had come out fighting, but Kate was bluish and floppy. Definitely different. She was an extraordinarily pretty baby—small, 6lb 6oz, and...

FRIENDSHIP

Anne, what age are you and where do you live? I’m 44, and I live in Tallaght. Yvette? I’m 22 and I live in Coolock. Anne, how long are you here in Work Options and what have you been doing? I’ve been here a good while. I was at Templeogue Training Centre and transferred to here. I did a child care course and worked...

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT—THE WIDER DIMENSION

Japanese author S.I. Hayakawa told the story of a man who was asked if he could play the violin. ‘I don’t know’, he answered. ‘I’ve never tried.’ In each of us there are unknown possibilities and undiscovered potential. An open self-concept allows us to continue to expose ourselves to new experiences, thereby continuing to discover more and more about...

NATURAL THERAPEUTIC HOLDING

Recent articles by Christopher Stirling and Albert McHugh explore Natural Therapeutic Holding, an alternative to the use of control and restraint in managing aggression in people with learning disabilities. For a number of years there has been a move away from the use of control and restraint as a method of managing aggression, towards the use of non-aversive methods,...

MASSAGE FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

‘The use of the hands as a means to convey friendship, to comfort and to heal the sick, to express love and tenderness, to quiet and titillate the child, is as old as life itself-’ (Bernard Gunter) The information we receive from our senses—touch, sight, smell, taste, hearing—enables us to understand our surroundings. People who have more severe/profound learning disabilities...

SOFTPLAY

On many of my visits to schools I see an empty softplay room. So first of all, let us consider the area for ‘quiet time’. This cold be on a group or individual basis. When dealing with a child with severe sensory impairment and little movement, they are often bombarded by the many stimuli in the classroom environment (directed...