Families, Carers and Professionals are an important part of the lives of people with Learning Disabilities. The rights and wishes of people with Learning Disabilities should always be respected and sometimes we may need to challenge these.
Sometimes we may get so caught up in keeping individuals that we care for safe and healthy, we can forget what people with Learning Disabilities really want in their lives.
- People with Learning Disabilities have the same thoughts and feelings as every else.
- Lots of people with Learning Disabilities want to have relationships.
- For some people, having a relationship is one of the most important things in a persons life.
- From the age of 18, people with Learning Disabilities become an adult and have the right to make their own decisions.
People with Learning Disabilities have:
- The right to education and information about personal relationships and sexuality.
- The right to education and information about their own bodies.
- The right to have relationships.
- The right to information and help with contraception and sexual health
And most importantly of all; The right to BE HAPPY AND LOVED
The Law says that Professional Carers and Family Carers can not make any decisions that go against that of an adult with Learning Disabilities.
They can only do this if the person lacks capacity and this has been tested using the Mental Health Capacity Act. This does not mean that we cannot recognise and offer the right support to individuals in finding Friendships and Relationships whilst having their best interests at all times.
It is important that we educate ourselves and others in understanding the thoughts and feelings of those that we support to lead fulfilling lifestyles.