Looking after those with Disabilities

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All Kinds of Minds (https://allkindsofminds.co.uk/) is the name of the site. And it takes all kinds of minds to make the world an interesting and varied place.

Different people respond to caring and learning in different ways. Some people like to be shown something, then repeat it under supervision. Some take notes. Others don’t. Some can follow a written guide, dyslexics are often better at following pictorial instructions. People with learning disabilities will require different approaches depending on how they approach life. Some people only struggle with a certain area of life, whereas others will face more complex issues and require more intensive support from teachers and carers.

The best type of care and support should be tailored to the individual and accessible locally. If the individual has more complex needs, care should ideally be integrated and specialised to take account of all requirements. This also helps to increase efficiency by ensuring that the right people are available to provide the right care at the right time. All this takes time to learn and time to put in place, though.

However, there is some help out there. The internet is a vast repository of information on all sorts of things, conditions and situations. Research leads to knowledge and understanding of others’ needs. Free courses are available for interested readers as well as professionals looking to hone their skills, concerned family members and those who find themselves thrust into the role of carer when a family member needs it.

Knowing how to care for those with learning disabilities and autism is a skill which should not just be restricted to the caring professions. Anyone who finds themselves having to deal with a family member in declining health could well need to call on similar skills. Service industry and public-facing workers such as retail staff, food service teams, customer helpdesk operators or receptionists could also benefit from some of the free online courses currently available. The teaching of basic caring responsibilities is not yet a part of the school curriculum but the time may well come when the topic forms part of Life Skills or similar classes.

Autism is being diagnosed more often these days too, with varying theories as to its cause. As the number of people recognised to be ‘on the spectrum’ grows, so will the requirement for appropriate care and interaction that does not frighten or trigger the individual. Some autistic people are non-verbal, but will vocalise noises when upset or excited. Others have acute social anxiety, physical or verbal tics, and other associated conditions such as ADHD, OCD or developmental delay. Many will have developed coping strategies on their own, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t benefit from targeted care designed to make the most of their situation.

All kinds of minds make the world. And all kinds of minds can take care of the world. It just takes awareness and learning to make things better for everyone.

May Capobianco