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Identify an individual/group of adults with a learning difficulties and critically analyse the issues and strategies raised in the promotion of their increased inclusion into soceity.

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Introduction

Identify an individual/group of adults with learning difficulties and critically analyse the issues and strategies raised in the promotion of their increased inclusion into society. Profile Meena is a 23-year-old Asian woman who currently lives at home with her mother, father, sister and grandmother. She has been identified being on the autistic spectrum and having communication difficulties and challenging behaviour. Meena was educated at a special school for autistic pupils from the age of 5 until 19. At this school she was a minority as none of the staff or pupils were Asian. She currently attends a day centre on weekdays where she takes part in various activities. She enjoys cooking and helps her mother cook at home. Meena has basic skills in literacy and numeracy but finds abstract concepts hard to understand. She is close to her family especially her sister but finds social interaction outside the immediate family difficult. Meena attended a college course for IT for a while but she did not enjoy this and staff could not "cope" with her challenging behaviour. Meena finds it frustrating being at home and would like to move out and gain some independence, she would also like to go back to college and study catering, a subject in which she is interested. ...read more.

Middle

Meena's situation is not unusual in a study conducted by Bignall, T and Butt, J (1999) it was found that independence was more limited for Asian women in particular. Isolation because of culture was also an issue that was found apparent. Social events organised often did not take into account certain cultural norms, an event in a bar may not be seen as appropriate for Meena as a young Asian woman on her own so she was not experiencing social inclusion. Many minority ethnic groups were a minority in their school especially if it was a special school removed from their community and there was a reported shortage of Asian role models within the services provided. Meena wants independence but her lack of social interaction outside the family may mean that she finds tasks such as mixing with housemates or colleagues difficult. This may be an issue that needs addressing. Identity Part of Meena's social inclusion is development of her own identity. Enabling people with learning difficulties to tell their own story may help them emerge with a more positive sense of identity (Malin, 1995). Listening to Meena will help professionals reassess the impact their services have on Meena's life. Using techniques such as a life book will help Meena piece her experiences together (Frost and Taylor 1990 in Malin, 1995) ...read more.

Conclusion

Meeting new people comes with the territory of independence but rights must be balanced with risks says (Hendry et al. 2002). Meena may need support in developing relationships and protection from exploitation. An article in Community Care (Hendry at al. 2002) stated that this issue should be covered in Meena's care plan and will be covered by a team of Meena's immediate carers plus a multi-disciplinary team compromising of psychologists, community nurse personal advocate and more. The article also states that this approach means a close scrutiny of risk assessments and aid an appropriate care plan (Hendry et al. 2002). Whilst this a good practice in ensuring that abuse does not occur Meena appears not to feature much, a person without a learning disability will not have a multi-disciplinary team discussing the most private of human life! Meena needs basic knowledge and encouragement to take responsible risks. Life is a learning curve and if full inclusion is to be a part of it then Meena must also learn through experience. It is the responsibility of staff to make sure Meena is aware of risks. Conclusion There are many things to consider when helping Meena towards independence and inclusion but it must be remembered that having the opportunity to make informed choices about life is a fundamental right (Thomas and Woods, 2003). Meena needs to be able to make informed decisions and understand her own rights and responsibilities in order for her to achieve her goals. ...read more.

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