‘Local Support’ Essential For Helping Those With Learning Disabilities

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD) has called for more help in developing a “good local support” network to help children and adults with learning difficulties. Its co-director, Barbara McIntosh, also called for more research to be carried out into ways to promote social inclusion

She also called for more to be done to support local communities and services to include people with learning disabilities, and to make practical improvements in services for people with learning disabilities.

The FPLD’s statement was spurred by the campaign started by Children’s Society which has called for the government to provide an independent advocate to all disabled children living away from home, but Ms McIntosh insists local care must come first.”Many children are having to leave their families and friends because local services aren’t providing the necessary support,” she said.

“Growing up can be difficult for any child, but for those with a learning disability, it can be even more challenging. Children must be given the choice to stay at home, rather than be on their own sometimes hundreds of miles away from relatives.

Ms McIntosh continued: “Our current Life in the Community project is working to enhance opportunities for people with learning disabilities to be included and supported in their local communities and we want to see this approach extended to all corners of the UK.”

According to the FPLD, there are between 230,000 and 350,000 people with severe learning disabilities and an additional 580,000 to 1,750,000 people who suffer from milder learning disabilities.