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New to learning difficulties- where do I start?
Hi all, it's been very educating and at times heart-wrenching reading all your posts and life experiences. Im quite embarassed to admit that I hadn't realised Learning Difficulties was actually classed as a mental condition- i always thought it was just a term to describe less able kids during school years. My 20 yr old sister has been diagnosed with this after a huge breakdown in which she ended up in a mental health unit for a week. Although she's always had special needs at school, things took an unbelievable turn for the worse recently and we're finding that social workers and support are a continual let-down.
My family have never known where to go for support over the years & until this day we've still not been able to get a proper diagnosis. Docs, schools & NHS have been one big let down after another, and a family break-up in between caused my sister to i guess be neglected, so support over her teen years had been next to nothing.
It has been a relief to find out about Mencap, and my hope now is that i can join this community to find some advice off you people who have lived amazingly self-sacrificing lives to support your loved ones. I hope that I can contribute with my experiences, and anything positive I can bring, even if at times it's just to say 'hi, you're all amazing people and keep going..' after all, we all need encouraging & upbuilding from time to time. Im going to ring my sister's social worker tomorrow- i really dont know where to start as I've said,but i want to ask them why on earth they promised her 16 hours of support per week, lifeskills coaching etc and nothing has come of it! It just doesn't make sense..
Hi Daniel C,
Welcome to the forum! I hope that you find it useful, and I'm sure that the experiences you have had will be shared by others who will be able to offer advice and support.....keep us posted about your sister's support and the input of social services....
Learning difficulties are not classed as a mental health problem, but some people who have learning difficulties ALSO have a mental health problem. Learning difficulties themselves can vary from very mild to very severe. It is a huge spectrum..
Thank you DanielC and xxsuexx for your postings and welcome to you both.
I want to share with you and others a new website I think you will find very interesting www.clearthoughts.info
The Clear Thoughts project was funded by the Department of Health and undertaken by ARC-Association for Real Change.
The aim of the website is to provide People with Learning Disabilities and their families and front line staff with information about mental ill health in Learning Disability, being mentally well, and maintaining positive mental health. There will be a newsletter on the website starting December 2008, and the Clear Thoughts project has just launched their CD resource.