Family carers still at breaking point says Mencap report

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Short breaks offer a way for people with disabilities and their family carers to take a break from each other. For the person supported, they offer an opportunity to be away from home and for family carers an opportunity to recharge depleted batteries. In 2003, Mencap surveyed seventy six families from across England and Northern [read the full story…]

Parents and caregivers of people with Williams syndrome rate benefits from medications in reducing anxiety


Williams syndrome is a neuro-developmental genetic disorder caused by gene deletion estimated to have a prevalence of 1 in 7,500 to 1 in 20,000 live births. Previous studies have identified anxiety as part of the behavioural phenotype of the syndrome The authors of this US study set out to look at the effectiveness and adverse [read the full story…]

Occupational Therapists gather feedback from people with learning disabilities but do little to reduce potential bias

Without each of us raising our voices, agitating, demanding and complaining, nothing much more will happen to reduce premature deaths in people with learning disabilities

Getting feedback about interventions from people with learning disabilities involves a number of challenges, including of course communication difficulties The researchers in this study were interested in how occupational therapists (OT’s) gathered feedback from people who used their services. They looked at this by asking 70 OT’s to complete a questionnaire and a subset of [read the full story…]

Limited evidence of commissioners redirecting resources to local service developments in the wake of Winterbourne View scandal


In the wake of the outcome of last week’s court proceedings involving support staff who worked at Winterbourne View hospital, there have been continuing calls to ensure that people with learning disabilities and complex needs are not placed far from home in isolated services, but receive local, skilled support. The Mansell report drew attention to [read the full story…]

Shared decision making with parents of children with autism associated with higher satisfaction

few outcome studies found, but personalisation is relatively recent in social work practice

Shared decision making with family carers is clearly espoused in policy in the UK and elsewhere. The researchers in this U.S. study were interested to look at to what extent parents of children with autism spectrum disorder reported being engaged in such shared decision making. They set out to look at the association between shared [read the full story…]

US researchers find children not receiving MMR because of fears regarding autism link


The possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been shown to have no basis in evidence, despite such a link being posited in a 1998 paper in the Lancet. The paper was subsequently retracted following a GMC investigation of its author. The researchers in this US study point out that although the link [read the full story…]

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Characteristics of faith communities inclusive of people with learning disabilities identified in US survey


The issue of faith and participation in faith communities for people with learning disabilities is not widely explored in the literature. In 2004, the foundation for people with learning disabilities published the report of a two-year action research project to develop and describe creative ideas for meeting people’s religious needs  and produced a good practice [read the full story…]

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Advocacy benefits individuals and provides collective mechanisms to improve health and social care systems says survey

advocacy report

In the UK as a whole the most recent estimate from an Action for Advocacy survey is that 55.4% of advocacy organisations provide services for people with learning disabilities, although there is growing concern about the precarious nature of funding for many of those services. The IHAL report points to the argument that the development [read the full story…]

Learning Disability Psychiatrists support DoLS but raise some concerns about bureaucracy


The Mental Capacity Act (2005) was amended in 2007 with the addition of the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS). They exist n the code of practice and came into force in April 2009. The safeguards are there to make sure that if anyone is unable to consent to care or treatment, there are systems in [read the full story…]