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Difference: Let’s Go Out Into The Community

November 6, 2012

There was a fascinating discussion on Twitter last night about the langauge applied to the disabled and how so much of a disabled’s life is couched in this strange language. That led me to have a look at the differences between Steven and me:

1. I live in my home. Steven’s “current placement is in the family home”.

2. When I make a pizza, I’m making a pizza. When Steven makes a pizza, he’s “increasing his independence skills”, overseen by an OT.

3. If I go to the gym or the pub, I’m going to the gym or the pub. If Steven goes to the gym or the pub, he’s out on his community programme.

4. If I hit the table, I’m having a bad day. If Steven hits the table, it is logged and analysed by a psychologist and the positive behaviour team.

5. If I cry, I’m sad about something. If Steve cries, it is logged and analysed by the psychologist and positive behaviour team.

6. If I shout or swear, I’m angry about something. If Steven shouts or swears it is challenging behaviour and new behaviour management plans need to be drawn up.

7. If I select between steak or fish for my tea, I’m making a choice. If Steven selects between steak or fish for tea, he is being empowered.

8. When I was 18, I left school and started work. When Steven was 18, he was transitioned into adult services.

9. I have friends. Steven has a “circle of support and influence”.

10. If I go on the train, I’m going on the train. If Steven goes on the train, he’s “accessing the community transport”.

11. If I’m asked what I want to do with my free time, I’m planning my hobbies. If Steven is asked what he wants to do with his free time, it’s his person centred plan.

12. I don’t have a transformation manager. Steven has a transformation manager.

13. If I make an unwise choice, I’ve cocked up. If Steven makes an unwise choice he may be lacking mental capacity.

14. If I sort my CDs into alphabetical order, I’m being a bit anal. If Steven sorts his Mr Bean DVDs into colour order, he is being “inappropriately obsessive”.

15. If I eat 2 Mars bars, I’m being a pig. If Steven eats 2 Mars bars he is “challenging boundaries”.

16. If I stay at a friends, I’m staying at a friends. If Steve stays at a friends, he is on respite.

17. I take control. Steven is given control.

18. I review my life with a mate in the pub. Steven’s life is reviewed at a multi disciplinary meeting.

Update (2nd July 2013)

Feeling dead chuffed at the moment. Someone asked me a few weeks back if he could use this blog post for some training he was doing with social care managers.

I got the following feedback today:

“The “lets go into the community” post is perfect. One of the agreed actions moving forward was to move towards never using words for the service, that they wouldn’t use about their own lives. Simple. But massive challenge for them.”

How cool is that!


From → Social Care

One Comment
  1. I have two adult (one severely one profoundly) learning disabled sons in their 40s. Neither can read, write or speak nor manage their own affairs nor do they have capacity to make complex decisions. Some of the euphemisms used by social workers and carers.

    I read letters. Simon is “supported to read his correspondence”

    I have a bank account. Simon is supported to have a bank account.

    I go out shopping, to eat, to the cinema. Simon and Robin are supported to access the community.

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