Recently, Generate Voices members have had the chance to host their own Generate Voices meetings talking about topics they have chosen and are passionate about.
Last month, Michelle led a Voices meeting talking about Learning Disability Awareness and the importance of being diagnosed.
Michelle shared a PowerPoint presentation about what she learned during her research.
She focused on how everyone with learning disabilities is different from one another and that their care needs may vary.
She also shared some statistics and findings from an Oxford based research. A project team based in Cambridge want to make sure that people with a learning disability have a clear diagnosis and know what causes the condition.
Michelle covered some main points people need to know to maintain an awareness of people with learning disabilities.
Some people with learning disabilities can speak for themselves, take care of themselves and are able to do everyday tasks! They may need support to understand complex information.
While others may need extra support to do everyday tasks and to learn new skills, they may have other conditions too.
Michelle asked an important question to all the members: What problems do you think not being diagnosed with a learning disability can cause?
Terry said, “This causes confusion as the person’s learning disability can be mistaken for a mental health condition!”
Rio agreed and added “I didn’t know about learning disabilities and the different related conditions when I was young and people used to mistake my learning issues for something else, I was shocked when I found out about my condition!”
“Before this, I used to suffer from terrible social anxiety and other kids used to be horrible to me because they didn’t understand my condition, and this caused me to have anger issues. As I have got older, I have had to learn how to manage this.”
Jodian advised everyone “Share whatever upsets you and do not revisit stressful events in your life!”
One member said, “Not knowing can cause a lot of stress and I didn’t know what Autism and learning disabilities were until I was 12! I only fully realized my condition when I started to notice I did things differently”
Even Generate Voices Co-Ordinator, Tony (who has lived experience) shared his view on the problems not being diagnosed with a learning disability can cause “Not having a clear diagnosis causes confusion and labelling as they don’t understand you; it is also a problem when someone gets the wrong diagnosis!”
Generate Voices wants everyone to know that it’s very important for people with a learning disability to be diagnosed as this will help them to get the support that they need, even if they must fight for it!
Apart from Generate, there are lots of charities and organisations that support people with learning disabilities including MENCAP, Baked Beans Charity, Share, BILD and Learning Disability England.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog and are interested in the meetings we run, please do reach out to the Generate Voices Co-Ordinator’s, Chiz and Tony.