Worlds Apart! Not Really - But...
Herald Sun Newspaper,
Families with a member with an intellectual or multiple disability (Learning Disability) have similar concerns, world wide. Yet, we question the general population considers just how much life is lost for those with limited intellectual capacity
Australia Monday, June 12, 2011
By Mother Mrs S.M. Fenn, Gisborne, Victoria
I have an adult child who is severely disabled and who lives at home with me.
All his life, and it feels like all of mine, we have struggled to get him the right equipment, the right therapy, into the right schools and day services while still trying to live a reasonable, fulfilling life.
Even with the best disability workers in the world, realistically I believe only a family member can "go the distance" and achieve the best outcomes possible for these, our disabled children.
Australia desperately needs a National Disability Insurance Scheme, as recommended by the Productivity Commission, to help millions of families like ours.
I have no more superannuation left after buying a purpose-built van, together with a ramp for the wheelchair and the wheelchair itself now needs replacing.
What will happen to my son when I am no longer here to speak for him?
He will become just another name on the list of Australia's most vulnerable and disadvantaged people who wait in vain to be considered important enough to also be allowed to have "quality of life".
Daily Mail Newspaper,
UK June, 2011
By Mother - Mrs Kathy Wimbush, Reading, Berkshire
Seeing the news footage of Winterbourne View in Bristol, a home for adults with learning difficulties, was like having my worst nightmare confirmed.
As a parent of a child with special needs and poor communication skills, I've lived with a dark fear of my son's future ever since he was diagnosed.
Contemplating his fate when my husband and I are not around any more is the bleakest thought I could wish on any parent.
He has no brothers or sisters to keep an eye on him; even if he did I'm sure they would have their own families. So it's down to care homes to do the right thing by him.
These special needs adults have the mind of a child, they do not understand the world they inhabit. It can be terrifying to do the simplest of tasks an average person would not give a second thought to, so you can imagine what that systematic abuse must have been like for them.
I'm sure the majority of care homes are run with care in mind but I live with my nightmare until the Government introduces 24-hour Skype access for relatives.
"How much Life is Lost?"
The general population has a huge ability avenue, much more than most people can ever use. People frequently say, "We wish we had time to do this and that." In total contrast, those with limited intellectual ability, through intellectual disability for whatever reason, have extensive time and little ability to use but a fraction of this in a meaningful way
LISA Inc would like some help extending the following list of that which a great many people with limited intellectual capacity are unable to do, but what the general population takes for granted.
- Meaningful relationships
- Marriage and a family, or similar
- An extensive number of friends
- Regular school/university
- Regular employment
- Driving a vehicle
- Air travel
- Meaningful holidays, including overseas holidays
- Using a computer
- Write a letter
- Going to the cinema/theatre
- Playing sport
If everyone in the general community really understood and appreciated just what they can do in comparison with those so disadvantaged by their limited intellectual capacity, there may be far less abuse and neglect in our society.