Person-Centred Learning Disability Services

Learning disabilities (LD) is a broad expression referring to a cluster of disorders including difficulty in understanding new information, learning new skills, handling day to day affairs independently etc. People with LD may have trouble in oral and written expression, listening comprehension and mathematical calculation.

They may also suffer from lack of sustained attention and, time and social skills. Difficulty in any one of these mentioned areas makes a person rightful to avail of special social care services and learning disability services.

Since learning disability is a lifelong condition, people with LD need continuous support and regular counseling.

Person-centred Approach The Need of the Hour

Lack of communication and understanding of peoples ordinary and special needs, which normally characterizes normal learning services settings, have to be wiped out.

These services should attend to the overall well-being of people by understanding, enlightening, connecting, counseling and admiring them.

These overall well-being elements should be attended along with meeting the many special health care needs. Person-centred disability services are the best way to fulfill these requirements.

The heart of person-centred approach in learning services implies that the services are individual to, and owned by, the person being supported.

The current social service settings show that people with learning are still not given participation and independence in making choices about their care.

It is high time that learning services should be made more accountable. It has been widely observed that most of the care homes and hospitals lag behind in offering patient-centred care.

Placing people with disabilities at the heart of the planning process can do wonders in the path of LD services.

According to certain studies, an improved quality of life for about 70% of people can be achieved by embracing this radical approach.

There is a common misconception that people with LD fail to articulate preferences and decisions. Studies have proved that people with deep and manifold disabilities possess the skill to convey preferences and decisions on matters that have a direct influence on them.

Another aspect that should be given major priority is the inclusion of persons families in the decision making process.

There is a tendency in many service settings to treat family members as outsiders. This attitude should be changed and they should be given a key role in the decision making process.

In person-centred the focus should be on the whole person. The support service staff should play the role of a facilitator only.

Respectful bonding between people with learning disabilities and staff is required to make these people socially inclusive.

Creation of learning disability services that place people at the center is the best solution to achieve this goal.